New Zealand HiFi Companies - a survey

[Edge audio rack, made in NZ]

Listening in the Land of the Long White Cloud

[Italian version here]

Reviewer: Richard Varey - TNT New Zealand
Reviewed: October, 2015


Aotearoa - the land of the long white cloud (New Zealand) - is a small nation at the edge of the world which prides itself in seeing the light first. New Zealanders have a reputation for being doers and innovators, a way of life wrought by ancestors out of settling a distant and unforgiving land.

I set out to see if this persona is to be found in the ever-changing landscape of high-fidelity home audio equipment. I caught up with the current offerings from local manufacturers to see what they are up to. In a nation of two main islands, six cities, and a little over 4 million people, just who is doing what and how in the realm of “audio in Aotearoa”?

My search turned up just a handful of major players and a few independent audio artisans and audiophile aspirants. This article presents no more than an overview survey, and I plan to follow-up with some of the producers in subsequent more detailed interviews and reviews. For want of a better way, I have listed the NZ-based manufacturers alphabetically by name.

In a small nation, inevitably much of the industry is small-scale and local, yet there is a substantial and ambitious focus on export into international markets by some producers, especially the USA. New Zealand is renowned for its “clean and green” image, and somehow value-adding attention to detail and distinctive design are in keeping with this. I plan to expand some of the more intriguing stories, with reviews of unique products, in the coming months. I look to our indigenous innovators for their further support in bringing some of their stories to our TNT-Audio readers.

My thanks go to several people for their co-operation, and I am especially grateful to Simon Brown for his helpful suggestions.

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