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Press Releases Governor General gets first look at new Westland technology

His Excellency Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae was the first visitor to Westland Milk Products’ new nutritionals dryer to experience leading edge three dimensional computer imagery to allow him to see inside the dryer without having to even be in the building.

The Governor General visited Westland’s factory at Hokitika today as part of his schedule of visits throughout New Zealand on the theme of innovation, sustainability and resilience. He told Westland’s Board that he had heard about the dairy company’s innovative developments and was keen to see them for himself.

“I am passionate about my role as an ambassador for New Zealand,” Sir Mateparae said. “I like to tell international people I meet about the great things happening here. But I can’t talk about it if I haven’t seen and experienced it for myself.”

As part of his tour, His Excellency was shown interactive three dimensional technology that allows someone with the likes of an IPad to see and experience Westland’s new plant. As the viewer turns around, looks up or sideways, the view on the computer screen changes as if that person were actually inside the room looking at the plant in real time. The technology is very similar to three dimensional gaming, and General Manager Production Simon Bastion told the Governor General that Westland believed it was the first dairy company in New Zealand to use the technology. It will allow customers to inspect the plant without even having to come to New Zealand to do it.

Before his tour the Governor General spent some time talking with Westland’s Board and senior management about what the company’s strategy to increase production of higher-profit, added-value products – such and infant formula, UHT milk and butter. Chairman Matt O’Regan said the goal was to improve shareholder returns and break the company out of dependence on the highly volatile global dairy commodities market. CEO Rod Quin told His Excellency that Westland was well on its way toward achieving its aim of 35% of production having an added-value component.


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