New Zealand IT firm opens first U.S. branch in Portales

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

A New Zealand-based information technology company that provides technical support for factory automated systems is moving to Portales.

Tamaki Control specializes in automated systems such as milk pasteurization and monitoring and powder handling and packing for food processing factories.

The company was working on Southwest Cheese plant’s automated systems when company founder Derek Turnbull decided to establish a U.S. branch in Portales.

“I can’t help but notice there’s a lot of factories around and there’s no other automation companies around,” he said. “It’s a real good place to quietly get us established.” he said.

The 20-year-old company has a branch in the United Kingdom. The Portales branch will be its second international branch and its first U.S. office.

Tamaki provides support for Glanbia and Fronterra, which are the parent companies of the Southwest Cheese plant and Dairy Concepts.

Turnbull said the company can install automated processes for older factories.

“You can always do tweaks just to get a little bit more product out for a little bit less energy, a little bit less water, a little bit less steam,” he said. “That’s the sort of stuff we do.”

The company is located presently at the Roosevelt County Economic Development Corp. business incubator. Turnbull said he brought four engineers from New Zealand and plans to hire two more engineers from Eastern New Mexico University.

RCEDC Director Greg Fisher said his organization helped Tamaki with immigration paperwork it needed to establish a U.S. branch.

“They’ll bring a very strong set of expertise in high-technology food processing … and good paying jobs for educated graduates of our area,” he said. “We want to see them blossom into a much larger company.”