National | Sealord

Another difficult 12 months ahead for Sealord - CEO

New data from Stats NZ shows sales in most industries are up $6 billion in the past three months.

Salaries and wages have also risen more than inflation.

However, half Māori-owned Sealord chief executive Doug Paulin says things are still looking bleak for the commercial fishing industry where profits are down and don’t look to be increasing anytime soon.

“All fishing companies are saying the same thing. It’s very difficult to make money at the moment.

“With pricing not matching that level of cost increase, yeah profits are down substantially and that is right across the board,” Paulin says.

The data

The Stats NZ data revealed total sales amounted to $191 billion, marking a notable increase of $6.2 billion or 3.4 per cent over the past three months. In the realm of salaries and wages, the figures reached $31 billion, experiencing a substantial boost of $2.4 billion or 8.7 per cent.

In terms of salaries and wages, the sector that saw the most significant surge in the June 2023 quarter compared to the same quarter in the previous year was arts and recreation services, boasting an impressive 18.5 per cent rise.

Conversely, the sectors that experienced the biggest declines in salaries and wages for the quarter were information media and telecommunications, registering a decrease of 0.5 per cent, and forestry and logging, which saw a marginal decline of 0.4 per cent.

Investing in iwi still a priority

But Sealord recently invested $10 million in the Ara Rākau programme in partnership with Te Arawa Fisheries, providing jobs for locals in forestry while also providing opportunities for local businesses.

“So if you think about this project, we are going to need a lot of native seedlings,” Paulin says.

“There are a number of local nurseries, which are Māori-owned businesses and it would be fantastic to involve them in this project.”

Paulin says Sealord is doing its best to keep its employees and is working with its board on a plan if things don’t get better soon.

“I’m hopeful we can continue to get price lifts. We can ride this out. We’re just going to have to see, it’s gonna be another difficult 12 months for Sealord.”

Tomorrow, another important set of figures, the Pre-Election Fiscal Update, will be announced so the state of the economy will be revealed before next month’s election