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Breadcraft the Toast of Wairarapa

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The Maintenance Engineering Society (MESNZ) has covered a lot of the new face of manufacturing in New Zealand as it strides across the regions with the MESNZ Kaeser Compressors Network Evening series, finding new technologies and niche manufacturing in areas across the country.

But what of our more traditional industries coping in the modern era? Breadcraft Wairarapa provided some of the answers when the MESNZ road show turned up in Masterton in July.

Harking back to 1942, Breadcraft is a third generation family owned business about to celebrate its 75th year of operation. Employing 100 staff, the business is a mainstay of the area and as one of the original Quality Bakers bakeries, can boast a long heritage. Coping with changes in the industry and economy is no stranger to this family. The secret to their success lies in flexibility rather than volume. On top of traditional bread runs, the little site that could produces a wide range of bases, cakes, puddings and even McDonalds buns, boasting a successful export operation to boot.

The flexibility of the operation is reflected in the maintenance department with Ian “Mitch” Mitchelmore heading up a small but committed team responsible for keeping the plant running and keeping up with the continuous improvements. Like most plants of this size, it is the focused team approach that allows the site to box well above its weight. You get the distinct impression these guys could achieve anything they set their minds too and do it with a smile too!

The MESNZ Kaeser Compressor Network Evening series are hosted to showcase local operations and provide networking opportunities for engineers across all regions of New Zealand. The evenings offer the opportunity to take a look at the host operation and discuss common issues and solutions in a relaxed after work environment. Open to interested members of the public, the nights are well patronised. There is no cost to attend and non-MESNZ can attend up to 2 meetings.

Readers can find the latest schedule by going to

The Maintenance Engineering Society is active across New Zealand, providing opportunities for maintenance engineers and manufacturing operations to network and share innovations and experiences; both at a national level at their annual national conference or at these regional events. The 2018 National Maintenance Engineering Conference will be held at the Energy Events Centre, Rotorua on November 13-15

  • Source: A MESNZ release