28 Jun 2012

Textile industry urges support for manufacturers

2:22 pm on 28 June 2012

The textiles industry is calling on the Government to pay more heed to the plight of manufacturers following the announcement that an Auckland wool processing plant will close.

Norman Ellison Carpets is closing its spinning plant at Onehunga in South Auckland at the end of July, affecting the jobs of 85 workers.

The company hopes to move some workers to other plants but about 70 staff will be left without jobs.

Cavalier Corporation, owner of Norman Ellison Carpets, is blaming the closure mainly on the housing downturn in Australasia which has reduced demand for carpets.

It follows cutbacks at that and other Cavalier plants over the past year, and almost 50 redundancies last month at the Summit Wool Spinners mill in Oamaru, which produces yarn, mainly for carpets.

Textiles New Zealand chief executive Claire Cilliers says wool processors have been hardest hit but the whole manufacturing sector is struggling and the Government doesn't appear to be acknowledging that.

"There's significant pressure on manufacturers and we don't seem to be getting any support from Government at the moment in terms of job strategies, in terms of investment into the broader sector. It seems to predominantly rhetoric."