Business Is Boring: The Dunedin company growing NZ’s high-tech manufacturing sector

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Sarah Ramsay, CEO of United Machinists.

Not that long ago in the scheme of things New Zealand did a lot of its own manufacturing. While some of the industries we used to have wouldn’t make much sense to restart now, there’s always room for specialists, no matter how small your home market. There’s a new generation of high-tech manufacturers thriving in New Zealand right now, and this week’s guest is one of the best examples.

Sarah Ramsay’s company United Machinists recently expanded its Dunedin HQ, taking over another section of land and building a state-of-the-art temperature-controlled facility with millions of dollars of new machinery. It allowed them to make more high-tech components and assemblies for things as diverse as camera mounts and prosthetic hands.

Sarah has a background in investment and marketing and came to the family-owned business through her husband, and in moving to the CEO role has led their growth into a company set up for another few generations of business. She has also been a driving force in the local Dunedin start-up scene and created a body helping lead the renaissance of engineering in the region, now serving as director of the Southern Otago Regional Engineering Collective, SOREC.

To talk about high-tech business, manufacturing, growth and the journey, Sarah Ramsay, CEO of United Machinists joined Business is Boring for a chat.

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