3 Feb 2012

Furniture maker in receivership

9:49 pm on 3 February 2012

A large Auckland-based furniture maker has gone into receivership, affecting 150 to 180 jobs.

Criterion Group and its subsidiaries in New Zealand and Australia were placed in receivership on Tuesday after a serious decline in trading.

The company's manufacturing plant in East Tamaki has the capacity to make 500,000 pieces of furniture a year and sells to customers around the world, inlcuding the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The receivers KordaMentha say the company's combined debt is in the range of $11 million.

The owners have been trying to sell the business for several months and that will now be sped up.

Criterion will try to keep selling furniture, as long as it makes a return.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union represents about 40 of the workers.

Its manufacturing spokesperson, Louisa Jones, says some employees have been working at Criterion for 20 years, and are shocked to suddenly have no income.

She says there is no redundancy payout, but staff may receive outstanding holiday pay in about two weeks.