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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Meat: There are 37 main works primarily engaged in meat freezing and preserving for export. They are well spread over New Zealand at or near ports or in the districts which supply stock for killing. This, the largest single industry, employs over 19,000 persons and has an output valued at £128.2 million, 60 per cent of which comes from the North Island. Smaller units cure ham and bacon worth £10.1 million for local use and export.

Dairy Produce: Two-thirds of the 234 butter and cheese factories and 77 other milk-products factories, which employ 4,600 people, employ 10 persons or less. This is a result of limited transport when the industry first started. With the growth of motor transport and, in recent years, the use of the milk tanker, the trend is for dairy factories to grow in size and for small units to amalgamate. Dairy factories are in the main owned cooperatively by the farmers who share in the total proceeds of the final sale of manufactures. The value of production was £58.4 million for butter and £16.8 million for cheese. The output of the “other milk products”, casein, £4.6 million, and condensed and powdered milks, infants' foods, etc., was £7.6 million.

Fruit and Vegetable Preserving: The 35 factories engaged for the most part in preserving and quick freezing fruit and vegetables and manufacturing sauces, pickles, jams, and conserves (output, £9.8 million) have generally been established close to their source of supplies. Nearly half of the 2,200 workers are women.

Other Food Manufacturing: Most of the raw materials used in the rest of the food-manufacturing industries are imported. Significant subgroups are: grain milling, £6.3 million; biscuit making, £4.1 million; and cocoa, chocolate, and sugar confectionery, £6.9 million. These units employ 920, 1,170, and 2,000 persons respectively, and they produce flour, 215,000 short tons; biscuits, 18,000 tons; and chocolate and sugar confectionery, 18,800 tons. About two-thirds of the biscuits and confectionery workers are women. Grain mills are located mainly in Auckland, Canterbury, and Otago Provinces. The largest biscuit factories are in Auckland, Lower Hutt, Christchurch, and Dunedin. Cocoa, chocolate, and sugar confectionery are manufactured chiefly at Auckland, Dunedin, and Christchurch. There is a large sugar refinery at Chelsea, Auckland. Most of the wide range of other food preparations are made in Auckland and Christchurch.

Beverages: The 17 breweries for ale and stout, employing 1,300 persons, have an output of 52.4 million gallons (99 per cent ale) valued at £9.8 million (excluding excise duty). Most of the malt for the breweries is made in Canterbury. Aerated waters and cordials are manufactured by small units mainly in the North Island. Wine making is mainly confined to Auckland and Hawke's Bay and cider is made at Nelson.


Henry Curran Holden, M.A., Director, Trade Relations and Economics Division, and Economist, Department of Industries and Commerce, Wellington.

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