Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Made in New Zealand.......yeah right!

It is time for me to get on my hobby horse, as I do around this time every year

The usual trigger is the New Zealand Gift Fair, which is a trade event, at which retailers purchase the products that will end up on the shelves of their shops. It is a huge event; imagine a large conference venue filled with gorgeous gift ideas.

Since our focus is New Zealand made gifts, at the fair, we look for the manufacturers who supply only gifts genuinely made here in NZ, which is very small minority of what is on offer.

Each year I come away sorely disappointed, not at the great NZ made gifts we do find, but at the sheer quantity of items that purport to be made in NZ, but are not.

The usual response to my question "Is this made in NZ?" is "no, but it is designed here".  Invariably the items in question are made in Asia, but marketed and presented in such a way that one would think they are locally made. I especially dislike the identical replicas of items which local craftsmen have created, that someone else has had mass produced  overseas far more cheaply, without using any local labour. And the deception can be so good, that even we have been fooled into purchasing items which I thought were locally made, but were not. (At least in that case, they were made from a locally sourced item, so there is a NZ labour component to the final product).

So I was delighted to see that the Commerce Commission has recently been successful in prosecuting a Christchurch company "Prokiwi" which the judge described as blatant, even cynical, with product packaging that was deliberately deceptive.

As Graham Gill of the Commerce Commission points out, 'it is not just words that can be misleading', symbols on packaging such as 'kiwis, flags or other iconic national emblems' can also give misleading impressions.

So when you are looking at Kiwiana, remember to check out the source. "Designed in NZ" does not mean "Made in NZ".

By the way, all the items shown above are made right here in NZ, and can be found on our website:
Cast Glass Silver Fern
Kiwiana Red Tiki Cuff links
Retro Kiwiana Tea towels

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