New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia
Lombok Pottery succeeds
Indonesian potters in Lombok have become so successful that their product is now exported around the world, and they attribute much of their success to the helping hand given by New Zealand through an aid project which began more than twenty years ago.
New Zealand became involved in helping the women potters in 1988 through a project called the Lombok Crafts Project.
The aim of the project was to improve the standard of living for the potters and their families through technical, marketing, community development programmes, and the provision of scholarships. Work was also carried out to improve literacy, basic healthcare, access to clean water, and sanitation.
New Zealand technical advisers worked with the potters and local project staff to improve the quality of pottery. New markets were developed, mainly targeting the hospitality trade and handicraft export sectors. Help was given to the women so they could learn to manage their own enterprise, as well as export quality production.
New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia, David Taylor, visited the Lombok Pottery Centre on a recent trip to Lombok and got a first- hand look at the Centre’s showroom which has a vast array of product made by the women. Lombok earthenware is traditionally used for food storage, cooking and eating.
Taylor said: “It is deeply gratifying to have helped women in Lombok establish a thriving business. It has helped the entire community and inspired others to try it.”
“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and it’s clear that other Lombok pottery producers have sought to emulate the success and have generated business and income for their communities. The programme has sparked a whole industry movement which is good to see.”
In 2011 the Embassy will provide some additional support for the Lombok Pottery Centre to improve the industry's health and safety standards.