Being uniquely New Zealand is helping companies become globally successful, say researchers from Victoria University of
“It appears that globally-successful New Zealand firms are forced to focus on a few products, markets and technologies
where their New Zealand experience has created a distinctive advantage off shore” said research leader Dr Colin
“Findings suggest that overseas recipes for success don’t necessarily work in a New Zealand setting.”
The two-year study aims to develop knowledge on the processes involved in building competitiveness in New Zealand
enterprises. The research, an investment of the Public Good Science Fund, is uncovering a number of ways in which these
firms have built an international advantage.
“New Zealand firms which have built extensive international businesses in over 50 countries worldwide, and command up to
30 per cent of the global market for their principal product line, have built competitive capabilities out of their
distinctively New Zealand experiences.”
“Typically, these firms were catapulted into positions of global leadership when a local product innovation created
rapidly-rising sales, periods when sales double and re-double for several years. “
“These are periods of great danger as well as great opportunity. The need to support these vary rapid rates of growth
has forced these firms to focus on those products, markets and value adding processes where they are truely world-class.
A dozen companies have been the focus of the two-year study.
“The companies were selected for their exceptional record of success in both local and international markets,” said Dr
“These firms have developed in small-scale market niches and have been protected from the full force of international
competition by distance or regulation. The firms were able to develop a range of capabilities which later form the basis
of their distinctive competitive appeal offshore,” said Dr Campbell-Hunt.
“The work has attracted interest because the question of how competitive capabilities evolve is recognised to be an
important gap in knowledge not only in New Zealand but world wide.”
Campbell-Hunt believes that the real strength of the study has been the willingness of so many people to get involved
and learn from each other.“Senior executives of these firms have been generous in sharing their experience with the
research team over the two-year period during which the study has been running.”
Dr Colin Campbell-Hunt, Tel 04-463-5066, email Colin.Campbell- Hunt@vuw.ac.nz Madeleine Setchell, FRST, Tel 04 498 7806,
Mobile 025 40 60 40