June 01, 2021
Emotions high as Kawerau mill faces end
Workers at Norske Skog’s Tasman paper mill at Kawerau are preparing for the worst as the company shuts down its last newsprint machine.
Pulp and Paper Union secretary Tane Phillips says consultation with workers ends Friday, and the company will announce its decision on the mill’s future next week.
While the best-case scenario would be for someone to buy the 70-year-old mill as a going concern, demand for newsprint has fallen by 80 per cent from its peak.
He says the impact on the town and the region if it closes will be more than the 170 jobs lost.
"The land was gifted by Ngāti Awa and Tuwharetoa ki Kawerau to get jobs for our whānau so it's got a very emotional tie, not just about the money but for the whānan who grew up and it fed in the Eastern Bay of Plenty," Mr Phillips says.
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