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Saito is one of the largest 100% New Zealand owned label and tag businesses in the country, providing their products and services across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The company was established in 1985 as a small home business by Founding Director Gavin Hodder. Nowadays, Saito is run by his daughter, Sarah Spencer, who is the Chief Executive Officer and Head of Focus.

Saito is a key supplier to district health boards of wristbands and labels, and also provides labels that enable traceability to many of New Zealand’s dairy companies. Saito is also New Zealand’s only supplier of Handiflex, an indestructible product used for labels, tickets and tags which can handle the harshest of conditions, making it perfect for industrial applications. They have made it their priority to ensure their knowledge of products and technology stays at the cutting edge.

As a family business, Saito’s commitment to the environment, their staff and community is at the core of everything they do.

Their newly built factory located at the Hauraki District Council’s industrial park in Kerepehi is one of the most sustainable in New Zealand and demonstrates their commitment to the environment. They run their production using solar power, the walls are made from 60 tonnes of redirected landfill waste, and they harvest their own water.

Why Waikato?

The crux of their decision to relocate to the Waikato came down to sustainability. For Saito, this doesn’t just mean in the environmental sense, although that is equally as important to the business. Sustainability also meant the ability to keep running the company and employing people. Continuing to manufacture in Auckland wasn’t compatible with achieving their long-term goals due to the cost of living and property, as well as the limited space available. The Waikato offers massive growth opportunities due to there being enough room for physical expansion. The location has also enabled them to build a co-ownership housing plan for their staff near the factory site, giving staff the opportunity to purchase their first homes.

Sarah described the Waikato as a goldmine of untapped potential, for staffing, affordability, access, and creative thinking. Moving to the region has unlocked business and lifestyle opportunities Saito and its staff wouldn’t have elsewhere. 

Sarah Spencer in the thick of it and doing what she loves best.

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The Waikato is full of people and businesses doing great things. Their stories help build our understanding of the strength of the Waikato and the benefits of living, studying, visiting or doing business here.