15 Apr 2014

Nufarm to close Auckland factory

10:42 pm on 15 April 2014

Agricultural chemicals company Nufarm is closing its factory at Otahuhu in South Auckland which it says will mean the loss of up to 59 jobs.

Nufarm will transfer production to its existing plant in the Australian state of Victoria. Managing director Doug Rathbone said the closure will save about $A3 million a year.

Including a reorganisation of the Australian operations, annual savings now total about $16 million. The New Zealand closure will incur a one-off cost of $11 million, bringing total restructuring costs to $50 million.

Mr Rathbone says the eventual sale of the Otahuhu site should result in a profit of up to $10 million dollars.

Nufarm's New Zealand manager Brett Sutherland says most of those losing their jobs will finish up in a year and won't be offered other posts with the company.

The chemical workers' union is disappointed with the closure and says it is in consultation with the company to get a satisfactory settlement for members.

The company's national office and formulation development laboratory will remain in Auckland. The North Island warehouse will also stay in the city and the South Island warehousing and logistics network will be expanded.