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Repossed HarvestPro equipment

A major financier has repossessed equipment from the owner of forestry business HarvestPro New Zealand. An official from GE Finance and Insurance in Auckland said equipment located in Auckland, Gisborne and Northland was repossessed from the company KFI Asset Management. Source: New Zealand Herald

Frederika Wall, GE Finance and Insurance spokeswoman confirmed the action, which she said took place last week.

Companies Office records showed HarvestPro New Zealand is fully owned by Kiwi Forestry International.

“It is anticipated that the equipment will be marketed for sale in the coming weeks,” Ms Wall said.

A Northland Regional Councillor expressed fears for the futures of 100 forestry staff that worked for the forestry giant in his area.

Joe Carr said he was now trying to help the workers to get new jobs “albeit temporarily” because they were laid off suddenly this week, some stranded in forests 20km to 30km from home and made to walk out.

Trouble has hit the area in the midst of the hotly contested by-election, which has focused all eyes on Northland. HarvestPro has big Northland and Gisborne area operations and is headquartered in Auckland.

Attempts to contact the business have been unsuccessful and phones have been ringing unanswered.

Mr Carr said he was particularly concerned about people who had worked for Harvestpro in his area. He expressed wider fears for the sector in Northland.

“Large areas of forestry are not being replanted because it’s not economically viable, particularly around the Hokianga and Kawakawa, there’s thousands of hectares of there. If the replant doesn’t happen in North Hokianga, that’s a cost of $500 million,” he said, although others had put the cost to closer $800 million.