24 November 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OREWA GETS A TASTE OF THE MIDDLE EAST
Rodney MP and Trade Minister Lockwood Smith met with Dr Sayyed Mastufa Agha Mirsalim and a senior delegation of
Government officials from Iran at his Electorate Office in Orewa.
Dr Agha Mirsalim is a former Iranian Cabinet Minister and current CEO of Iran's Khodro Engine Research Company and a
member of one of Iran's most influential bodies, the Expediency Council.
While in New Zealand will have meetings with Intermech, a New Zealand company specialising in the supply of CNG
compression equipment. He will also be meeting with DeiselGas Limited and researchers from the University of Auckland.
Dr Smith said that Intermech have been negotiating with the Iranians to supply CNG equipment for its diesel bus
conversion programme, and that negotiations have expanded to include providing goods and services to facilitate the
conversion of most vehicles in Iran to CNG.
"While I was in Iran earlier this year, I discussed this contract with Iranian Ministers, and it's very positive that Dr
Agha Mirsalim has come to New Zealand to evaluate our capacity to deliver on the proposed contract," Lockwood Smith
"New Zealand has recognised international expertise in CNG conversion technology, and the potential contract with Iran
would be worth approximately US$39 million. This would provide a real boost to Intermech and other companies associated
with the contract, and provide new jobs in the Auckland region.
Dr Smith said that it was great to have been able to bring Dr Agha Mirsalim to his own electorate just north of
Auckland, and to expose the Iranian delegation to the natural beauty of the region
"The meeting with Dr Agha Mirsalim was very positive, and I'm hopeful that the Iranians and Intermech will be able to
conclude a contract in the near future," Lockwood Smith concluded.