A wood-processing plant near Milton in New Zealand will not be mothballed, although just how many of the 31 jobs under threat have been saved remains unclear after news that a Southland timber company has secured the mill’s lease. The news follows City Forests’ decision in April to progressively downsize the plant and have it closed by September. Source: Otago Daily Times
City Forest’s closure would have cost the jobs of all employees based there.
Grant Dodson, City Forests chief executive, said the company had leased the mill to Craigpine Timber Ltd of Winton, effective from the start of July. He said some employees had retained their jobs through the changeover but he could not say how many.
“It’s a positive outcome for City Forests, Craigpine, and for a number of employees there at the mill,” he said.
Mr Dodson declined to reveal the length of the lease, other than that it was for “a number of years”.
Mr Dodson had said that City Forests, a Dunedin City Council owned company, established the plant in 2006 at an estimated cost of $15 million primarily to supply the US housing market but construction activity had since dropped from two million homes a year to about 600,000.
The Otago Daily Times asked Craigpine Timber Ltd how many jobs would be saved by the handover and why the company took on the lease when City Forests found the plant was no long viable however, the company’s general manager, John Price, declined to comment.