11 Oct 2023

Fonterra backtracks on plans to leave Hamilton site

4:09 pm on 11 October 2023
Fonterra’s current building on London Street.

Fonterra in Hamilton. Photo: Libby Kirkby-McLeod / RNZ

After months of speculation, Fonterra has confirmed it will stay in Hamilton city centre.

In April, the company announced it was leaving its current office in London Street, which it has occupied for over 50 years.

At the time, the company said it was committed to retaining an office in Waikato, but would not say if it would remain in Hamilton.

Hamilton Business Association's general manager Vanessa Williams said it was a win for the city.

"It's brilliant for their staff who are still going to be based in the CBD and have access to all the amenity available, and I think it's brilliant for the businesses who get to keep that large number of business workers in town."

A Fonterra spokesperson said that about 400 people, or 50 percent of staff, will begin relocating to one building next year, while it was still in negotiations regarding the lease of the second building.

The spokesperson said having two buildings in Hamilton CBD was more cost efficient than one and gave Fonterra more flexibility to cater for the changing needs of its people.

Earlier this year, Williams said the 400 staff at Fonterra's downtown office were a great support to local businesses such as clothes boutique Sisters on London, which was across the road from the imposing white Fonterra tower.

Sisters on London director Le Rogers said the store had customers who popped in because they worked locally, and losing Fonterra would make a difference.

Fonterra's Waikato Farm Source office will remain in Te Rapa, a northern suburb of Hamilton.