One of the oldest sawmills in New Zealand will close at the end of the month, at a cost of 25 jobs and potentially more in the local community.
Mamaku Sawmill is the last operating mill in the area, which was once a hub of the New Zealand timber industry.
“The high exchange rate has taken a toll,” says Red Middlemiss, EPMU organiser for the Mamaku Sawmill. “But the biggest problem for sawmills is that successive governments have sold off our forests to overseas buyers, who would rather ship the raw logs out of the country than have them processed here.
“The local forests which traditionally supplied Mamaku are now owned by organisations like Harvard University – and they’re obviously going to be more interested in short term profits for their pension fund that sustaining good Kiwi jobs.”
EPMU members at the sawmill are entitled to redundancy compensation under their collective agreement.
For more information contact:
Red Middlemiss, EPMU organiser: 0274 734 934
Stephanie Rodgers, EPMU communications officer: 022 269 1170