20 Oct 2013

Receivers say re-start possible at Rotorua mill

6:17 am on 20 October 2013

The receivers for a Rotorua sawmill - where up to 130 jobs could be lost - say they will assess over the next few days whether they can re-start operations there.

Tachikawa Forest Products (NZ) Ltd was placed in receivership on Friday and receivers KordaMentha told staff not to come to work on Monday because the plant is shut down until further notice.

Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha says staff will be paid for their last week's work.

"The business had virtually ceased trading because it was unable to secure log supply, obviously because of its financial position.

"What we're doing at the moment is we're going to put the business on the market and we're just assessing whether we can restart operations."

FIRST Union general secretary Robert Reid says the company has been struggling with problems common to the wood processing industry.

"They tell us that they're really caught in a pincer movement between a high New Zealand dollar, a high price of logs but not being able to necessarily get high income."

'Devastating' - mayor

Rotorua's newly elected mayor, Steve Chadwick, says the likely jobs losses are loss "devastating".

Ms Chadwick says the plant's closure is not a huge surprise.

She says she was aware the company was trading under difficult circumstances.

Ms Chadwick says it's terrible that up to 130 jobs could go, because behind those workers are families, and that many job loses is devastating, particularly to a community the size of Rotorua.

She says she and MPs Te Ururoa Flavell and Todd McClay will meet the unions and sawmill staff on Monday.