The headquarters of the federation, with a permanent secretariat of eight, are in Wellington. The secretariat includes a public relations department of two, which distributes manufacturing information; it also helps to organise industrial fairs, exhibitions, and special promotion weeks for retail groups, for school teachers, and for the general public.
More than 2,600 manufacturing firms are members of the federation through four provincial manufacturers' associations – Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, and Otago-Southland. (Manufacturers are the largest single employing group in New Zealand and, at present, employ about 232,400 people out of the total work force of 901,900.) There are 49 trade groups working within the federation and association framework. These groups relate, for example, to textiles and garments, footwear, plastics, furniture manufacturing, frozen foods, biscuit, chocolate, engineering, and radio and television manufacturers. Each of these organisations is entirely autonomous, but the executive work is carried out by the federation, which is recognised by the Government and other organisations as the official voice of industry. The federation is also widely represented on a number of outside bodies and committees such as the Standards Council, Immigration Advisory Council, Industrial Advisory Council, Council for Technical Education, and the National Safety Association.
by Arthur Oman Heany, General Secretary, Associated Chambers of Commerce of New Zealand, Wellington.