Executive Members of Light Alloys Manufacturing New Zealand Inc. (LAM-NZ) met last month to decide on the fate of an industry association whose main purpose was to promote the development of the light alloys manufacturing industry in New Zealand.
LAM-NZ was formed in 2003 as part of a successful bid for government research funding. It was aimed at providing export-oriented companies in the sector with a network to disseminate information, discuss business strategy and advice, as well as direct R&D support and technology leverage into the market.
During the active Government-funded research phase the LAM-NZ vehicle served its purpose well. The organisation was an active member amongst the Metals NZ sector groups and had a technology dissemination programme, e.g. prominent at the biennial Metals Industry conferences.
In recent years, industry leadership and representation of the largely aluminium- and magnesium alloy-focused group waned, and as a result the regular LAM-NZ Executive meetings became infrequent and ended in the discussion of the options left for the continuation of the organisation.
The group believed the main options available are to find commercial opportunities for the members if industry champions can be found which are willing to drive and promote sector interests. The other alternative would be to disestablish LAM-NZ and merge it into another industry association e.g. TIDA, Materials Accelerator, Metals NZ, etc.
With some money in the association account, LAM-NZ is in a good position to restart its operation financially. HERA as the Metals NZ Secretariat has offered to give a helping hand and research sector interest. Also, most of the current academic and industry supporters on the Executive are willing to contribute should significant industry interest emerge.