Search the site by keyword

Exporting challenges and responses of New Zealand firms


Brian Bull

Penny Mok

Stella Sim

Date published

21 April 2021

Download [694 KB PDF]

This paper describes the challenges New Zealand exporters faced from January 2015 to February 2020. It also explores what the firms and NZTE did to respond to these challenges.

This research revealed five major challenges for New Zealand exporters: building brand awareness; finding the right partners and channels (ie, intermediaries, such as retailers and distributors); strong overseas competition; understanding how destination markets differed from New Zealand markets and each other; and determining the right export pricing strategy and product-related costs to remain competitive and profitable.

NZTE analysed its interactions with more than 500 firms over a five-year period to identify these barriers to success. All of these challenges have been heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly brand awareness and developing the right business connections, given there is no international travel.

This commissioned report is one of a number of research inputs into the Commission's inquiry into maximising the economic contribution of New Zealand’s frontier firms.  


Exporting challenges and responses of New Zealand firms



Understanding New Zealand’s productivity performance

Our research aims to understand New Zealand's productivity performance and the role of policy in lifting productivity. 

Explore our publications below, hear us present at an event or contact us with your productivity questions.

A photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive

Productivity growth

The goal of our research is to facilitate a move from an economy that grows by using more “inputs” (such as labour or natural resources), to one where productivity plays a greater role in driving economic growth – essentially, working smarter, with greater financial and knowledge capital employed per worker.

Our research explores a wide range of productivity issues: employment, firm dynamics, technology diffusion, innovation, regional development, spatial and public-sector productivity.

Working together

The commissioning of research and the practice of collaboration with others is important to us. It enables us to access subject/sector specialists and benefit from the cross-promotion of ideas and insights. You will find research from the Commission, as well as research we commissioned, below.

Strengthening learning

Our Economics & Research team is independently evaluated every two years to understand how to improve and enhance our impact. See the latest evaluation report and 2020 survey results here.


Filter publications by topic.

Load more publications