Orion enabling a circular economy in Ōtautahi, Christchurch

Orion enabling a circular economy in Ōtautahi, Christchurch

Cactus Outdoor, the Kiwi brand that manufactures the world’s toughest workwear and outdoor products, and Orion, the electricity lines company serving Central Canterburytoday announced a collaboration to provide Orion staff with a high-quality, fit for purpose, New Zealand-made, jacket.

Orion had a need for a garment that looked good, was hard-wearing and would keep the team warm and dry in Canterbury’s varied and changeable climate. While Orion could have chosen any number of products made offshore, as a locally owned company, they had a desire to create a positive impact from their procurement decisions.

“Orion is a company known for providing reliable critical infrastructure to the Canterbury region,” commented Ben Kepes, majority shareholder and director of Cactus Outdoor. “Cactus has relied on electricity delivered across the Orion network for over 20 years and, as a company also laser-focused on reliability in any conditions, we are excited to be able to provide Orion with items that will help in that delivery.”

Cactus Outdoor is focused on driving balanced social, financial and environmental impacts from its operation. As an employer of around 100 individuals from over thirty different countries, Cactus is proud of its ability to help new New Zealanders create a better life for themselves.

An example of this in practice is Emily Barrientos. Emily was an immigrant from the Philippines who moved to New Zealand in 2008 on her own to make a better life for herself. She has been a valued employee at Cactus for 12 years and said about her new life here in New Zealand, “I love New Zealand because people are looked after so well.” Emily was a key person in making the Orion jackets and is proud that Orion staff will proudly wear garments made here in Ōtautahi by her and her colleagues.

Paul Deavoll, Orion GM for Customer & Stakeholder, commented on the collaboration: “It’s important we support a local manufacturer and we’re excited that our procurement activities can help new Cantabrians as they settle in this region.”

Commenting on the news, Lousie Aitken, CEO of The Ākina Foundation said that:

“Social procurement, as facilitated by our fwd: social procurement platform, is a huge driver for social and environmental outcomes in New Zealand. We applaud Orion for their procurement decision, and challenge other corporate procurement teams to follow suit.”

Alison, Cactus Outdoor Machinist Emily, Cactus Outdoor Machinist 

Alison & Emily, Cactus Outdoor / Albion Clothing Machinists

About Cactus Outdoor

Cactus Outdoor is a 28-year-young manufacturer of extraordinarily dependable outdoor gear, workwear and clothing. Manufactured in New Zealand, Cactus products are crafted to the highest quality, and purposefully designed to include all the features that are important and none that are superfluous. Above all, Cactus products are more durable than anything else in the marketplace.

About Orion

Orion owns and operates the electricity distribution network that provides power to more than 207,000 homes and businesses in central Canterbury. As the third largest electricity distribution network in New Zealand, Orion covers remote rural areas, regional towns and the city of Christchurch. Its network extends over 8,000 square kilometers from the Waimakariri River in the north to the Rakaia River in the south. 

About The Ākina Foundation

Ākina is Aotearoa New Zealand’s leading impact development organisation. Ākina is a not-for-profit consultancy that helps businesses of all shapes and sizes generate more positive impact. We’re on a mission to make the world a better place by putting positive social and environmental outcomes at the heart of how business is done in New Zealand. 

For information contact:

Michelle Panzer

Sales and Marketing Manager, Cactus Outdoor Limited


027 462 8444

Linda McGregor

External Communications Lead, Orion


0800 222 301