Nine years ago, Tararua based company Scanpower made the decision to buy Oringi Freezing Works and convert it into a business park. They have never looked back. Today Oringi Business Park is thriving as the home to seven companies who employ around 200 people
Scanpower chief executive Lee Bettles says that were so many positives to buying the site, it became really important for them to take the plunge.
“Oringi Freezing Works was the largest electricity customer on our network and we saw the opportunity to redevelop the site, stimulate economic growth and job creation in our district, and restore some of the lost electrical load and revenue.”
Scanpower is a power line contracting company, employing 85 staff plus contractors and operating an electricity network supplying 6,720 customer installations in Tararua. Their work is also carried out in the Wairarapa, Manawatū and Kapiti Coast districts and they have recently been involved with the installation of street lighting and associated power supplies on the Mackays to Peka Peka expressway.
The companies located alongside Scanpower at Oringi are Triple NZ Casing, a sausage casing manufacturer; Metalform, sheetmetal manufacturers; True Honey, producers of Manuka honey; Oringi Cold Stores, a temperature controlled storage service and Tararua Alliance, a roading contract between Downer and Tararua District Council. United States company, Intrepid Semiconductor also lease premises but are yet to move in.
Walking around Oringi Business Park it is clear to see the benefits of having a number of large scale businesses situated on the one site.
“It is a large industrial environment which suits businesses that are too large to be located in the Dannevirke central business district,” says Lee.
“Co-location allows for sharing of facilities, infrastructure, telecommunications and associated costs between tenants.
“The proximity also permits useful interaction between businesses that are in similar or complementary industries.”
A great example of businesses on the site working together is True Honey’s use of the Oringi Cold Stores to house their beehives over the winter months. The colder temperatures prevent wax moths destroying the beeswax combs.
While there are clear benefits to having so many businesses on one site, Lee also feels that being based in the Tararua also has its advantages.
“We can access skilled staff, it is an easy commute from Dannevirke for workers and we have excellent access to support businesses such as lawyers, accountants and tradesmen,” he says.
However there are always challenges, which Lee feels is most likely the same for any New Zealand company operating in a provincial environment.
“At times it can be difficult to attract the right staff, we also need to manage a rapidly changing regulatory environment and assess the impact of technology on our business and customers,” he says.
“In regards to the business park, attracting new tenants has required demonstrating the financial benefits of operating outside of a main city environment, having said this, the majority of the buildings at the site are now under a long term lease.”
In the future Scanpower wish to continue developing the business park and attract new tenants. Lee is also interested in the company facilitating or potentially investing in new ventures and business set ups.
If you are driving east towards Dannevirke and you see the signs for Oringi Business Park, perhaps take a moment to have a look. The team at Scanpower are incredibly proud of what they have achieved. They have taken a site which could have very well been a white elephant and they have turned it into a thriving hive of activity.
Above: Accelerate25 Lead Team members touring Oringi Business Park in August.