Fisher and Paykel Appliances has committed to taking on
more staff in its Dunedin product design centre as part of an
expansion plan being driven by Chinese owner Haier, the world's
largest appliance manufacturer.
FPA chief executive Stuart Broadhurst told the Otago Daily
Times the company planned to hire 100 research and
development staff for its Dunedin and Auckland operations, as
well as creating more jobs in other parts of the company.
While not able to say how many of the jobs would be created
in Dunedin, Mr Broadhurst said the number would be a
''significant share'' of the total.
''This is really good news for Dunedin.''
FPA already employed more than 100 staff in the city.
''This expansion of specialist skills will entrench our
company's expertise, enabling us to continue to deliver the
world-leading innovation we are known for - with continued
emphasis on quality.''
The company would soon release the largest number of new
Fisher and Paykel products at any one time in the company's
79-year history, including new refrigeration, cooktops and
laundry products, he said.
FPA always had ambitions to become a premium global brand and
was working towards that goal when Haier acquired the company
''We were playing around in China and India but now, with a
clear vision, we have been asked how fast we can accelerate
The Dunedin staff would also be working on developing new
technology and products for the overall Haier group,
something Mr Broadhurst was enthusiastic about.
He was full of praise for the expertise of Dunedin staff.
''It's about training people. We have a unique environment in
Dunedin. We bring in graduates and keep training them. We
don't keep all of the people we hire here in New Zealand.
Some of them leave for other businesses, but that benefits
the whole of the country,'' he said.
Otago Chamber of Commerce president Peter McIntyre said the
news was a vote of confidence in the city and what it could
offer to a company like Fisher and Paykel.
''When you look at the manufacturing companies around New
Zealand which are laying off staff, this really is a boost to
our confidence as a city. In Dunedin, we pride ourselves on
the development of intellectual property and technology. This
is the ideal space Dunedin wants to be in.''
Mr Broadhurst recently returned from China where he
finalised, among other things, an agreement for the New
Zealand-based production machinery business to undertake some
projects to automate production facilities over the next five
FPA would also boost its motor design capability and motor
production capacity to meet increasing demand from Haier and
other third-party customers.