In response to Government Covid-19 announcement last night and following its launch at Parliament last week, NZ mask
filter manufacturer Lanaco's CEO Nick Davenport is available to demonstrate and discuss mask availability, wear and
care.Lanaco supplies filters to more than 30 mask producers in New Zealand.
Lanaco started making Helix filters to specific accredited standards over five years ago, using a high-tech application
of NZ wool, for other people to use to make masks and other respiratory devices.
In the past four months, Lanaco has developed formulations for masks to AS/NZS 1716 P2 (NZ’s national gold standard) and
N95 (The USA gold standard) and makes masks to these formulations.
In order to sell them to these standards, the devices must be independently tested, and the manufacturing plant audited.
The latter process takes months and is a very stringent process.
Pleasingly, all precursor validation of mask performance has been independently completed and passed, and the
manufacturing line is poised to rapidly scale. Due to COVID restrictions, full audit to N95 levels will still take some
months, but Lanaco is well advanced in achieving P2 status for its operations in Auckland, now expected to be finalised
in the next two weeks.
At the onset of COVID in NZ, Lanaco also developed a filter for community made washable masks, called HELIX.iso™ which
was deployed rapidly throughout NZ from March to over 30 NZ manufacturers, who are now gearing up and supplying NZ and
Australian needs. This programme, which was helped by the Buy NZ campaign director Ryan Jennings, reduces the demand on
P2 level masks needed for front line staff and meets the needs of thousands of organisations and members of the public
across the country.
The outcome of the total initiative is a comprehensive mask manufacturing capability spanning the nation, leveraging the
unique capability that NZ has by having a high performance wool-based filter media company inside its borders.
The initiative significantly and uniquely strengthens NZ's global position in protecting its population from COVID 19.
The Lanaco product is homegrown, with a local supply chain - the wool grown near Wanaka, and the masks manufactured in
Auckland. It is the first such locally-produced disposable face mask to meet the AS/NZS 1716 P2 standards.