A New Zealand business is firing on all cylinders and about to grow, even in these uncertain economic times. Northpine is set to start its $3 million expansion that could in the future add up to 12 new jobs in the small Waipu community.
It is hoped the expansion will enable the business to compete strongly in New Zealand and export markets, and survive the difficult economic times.
The expansion consists of a large dry store and a wood waste fired kiln complex which will enable the company to expand into the dry timber frame market and add value to the timber product currently produced at the plant.
Northpine currently employs 38 full-time staff and general manager Bruce Larsen says once the expansion is fully operational, staff numbers could increase by up to four, with plans to add a further machine centre later in the year which could mean a up to a further five positions.
“Total site staff numbers will eventually be about 45 to 50 people,” says Mr Larsen.
In August 2004 the Northland Regional Council granted Northpine a 10-year resource consent to discharge air from a four megawatt wood and coal-fired boiler, a green sawdust drier and three wood drying kilns at its Waipu premises subject to conditions.
Among the conditions Northpine had to set up and help run a community liaison group to help the regional council manage, supervise and monitor the exercising of the consent.
Local resident Rosemary Neave has been appointed as the independent chairwoman of the community liaison committee and has started the process
of planning for its first meeting in mid-January.
“Waipu needs strong local employers such as Northpine, and Northpine needs a strong relationship with the community – the liaison committee will provide a structure to enable this relationship to thrive,” says Ms Neave. — Whangarei Leader