Thames engineering firm A & G Price has gone into liquidation this afternoon, with the loss of about 100 jobs.
Three staff spoken to by RNZ say they were briefed this afternoon and were struggling to come to terms with the announcement.
One of those made redundant, Shane Egan, told Checkpoint workers were summoned to a meeting at 2.45pm this afternoon and were told their contracts were dissolved.
"As of now you're unemployed, please hand in your keys if you have keys and go and grab your tools, don't bother coming to work tomorrow."
Mr Egan said workers knew something was up at work, but there was no warning of the announcement.
"We've been struggling our guts out, trying to do our best to, you know, done the work right and done everything we could, but it just didn't happen."
There was no guarantee workers would be paid any redundancy, he said, with the business now up for sale.
Mr Egan said some families had several generations working at the firm and the closure would be a big loss for Thames, where many would struggle to find other work.