New Zealand textile industry hits ‘crisis’ after recession

New Zealand’s textile industry is facing a “crisis”, with the government blaming a “massive” slump in demand for its clothing that is now forcing companies to lay off thousands of workers and cutting the number of factories in half.

Key points:New Zealand textile production has been hit by the “crises” of the past two years, said the country’s top consumer watchdogThe number of textile factories in New Zealand is now down to just over 400, with only two remaining in operationThe Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says it is facing “catastrophic” decline in demand from global marketsNew Zealand’s top apparel supplier, the Cotton Industries Association, says it expects to be able to keep operating two factories in the country for another two years.

The company, based in Auckland, is facing the worst downturn in its history as demand from Europe and Asia for its wool clothing has waned.

The industry, which makes clothes for retailers including Walmart, has been losing market share to China, the United States and South Korea.

It is a significant blow for New Zealanders, who have long been loyal to the countrys iconic wool-knit garments, which are produced in mills around the country.

The ministry said on Tuesday that the decline in textile production was the result of a massive fall in demand across the globe.

New Zealand is home to the world’s largest wool industry, with more than a billion pounds of wool yarn produced each year.

It also produces more than $1 billion in apparel.

But New Zealand has struggled to find the right market for the wool, which is a luxury in countries where it is not as fashionable as other fabrics.

Its biggest challenge in the years to come is the global decline in wool prices, as well as the rise of high-tech fabrics such as textile and clothing-grade nylon.

“There’s no question that we have a very hard economic situation, which has created massive uncertainty for our industry,” MBIE chief executive John Dickson said.

“We need to see some more growth in our textile sector, and that growth is still quite uncertain, but it will come.”

He added that MBIEs textile industry would need to remain “robust” to withstand the changes.MBIEs chief executive said the government was looking at all options to help New Zealand businesses.

“The MBI is looking at a range of options to try and keep the textile industry strong in the future,” he said.

But he said that he was confident the textile sector could survive without large layoffs, even as it faced the prospect of a cut in its workforce.

“If you’re talking about a downturn like we’ve had in the last two years or so, the textile business can handle that,” he told reporters.

“I think we can survive that.”

He said he was “very confident” the industry would bounce back in the near term.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Phil Goff had promised to tackle the industry and cut costs to make it more competitive in the global marketplace.

“New Zealand has the largest wool textile industry in the world and it has had a great contribution to our economy, so I am committed to making sure we do all that we can to help support that industry in its recovery,” he previously said.

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