& DESIGN LTD
Milne’s Manufacturing & Design Ltd (MMD) was founded by Edgar Milne; formally from the U.S.. Edgar was
the senior operations manager in a car manufacturing plant based in Detroit, employing over 400 personnel
and manufacturing on a globalscale
By the mid 2000's the car manufacturing sector in America found itself in a position where they couldn't
compete against overseas labour rates, which resulted in mass closures and subsequent job losses.
The result of this closure meant that Edgar was awarded a healthy redundancy payout for his 15 years’
service. He and his wife, Mariana with their 16-year-old son Klaus decided to start a new chapter in their lives
by immigrating to New Zealand (NZ) and founded Milne’s Manufacturing & Design Ltd in Mangere, South
Auckland, New Zealand.
Based on Edgar's experience working with trade customers only, he decided that he didn't want to work within
the retail sector, so he set about conducting some market research and networking with business groups,
looking at possible opportunities where he could manufacture a product that had a sizeable and repeat
The 'work ready' trainers idea came from a conversation Edgar had with a Primary Health Organisation (PHO)
manager. The manager was looking ways to minimise Health and Safety issues with a workforce that
predominantly conducted their work either walking around or standing. He was looking for a manufacturer
that could customise work shoes that were both practical in their design and which also met with the
professional image of his organisation; since they worked in the publicarena.
This had Edgar thinking about how he could deliver such a product. The potential of trade agreements across
all the PHO's community workers would be substantial and ongoing as at the time there were no other
manufacturer's working with this potential target market.