March 16, 2021
Whakatane Mill to close in June
A Māori trade unionist says the closure of the Whakatane packaging mill will be devastating for the community.
The mill’s Swiss owners have confirmed it will close on June 21 with the loss of 210 jobs.
CTU vice-president Māori Syd Keepa says competition from low-cost producers overseas affected the mill’s viability â€“ and people are worried now about the fate of the region’s other mill at Kawerau.
He says it has provided employment for generations of whanau, and was where he started his working life.
"All my uncles, my cousins, my brothers, we all worked there when we first started working. That's going to go and I'm thinking about our tamariki, what's going to happen now, particularly our young people in Whakatane," Mr Keep says.
He says people in the region are also worried now about the fate of the region’s other mill at Kawerau.
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