Mill news great for Whakatane and Eastern Bay of Plenty region

May 31, 2021

Confirmation today that the Whakatane Mill continues to have a future is great news for the town, the wider region and the New Zealand pulp and paper industry, says the EMA.

"Whakatane has had to deal with ups and downs in recent years with significant investment from the Provincial Growth Fund generating exciting new developments, mixed with the tragic eruption of Whakaari White Island and its impact on local tour operators, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic," say EMA Chief Executive Brett O’Riley.

"The potential loss of the Mill, a longstanding EMA member in the region, would have been a further blow as it is one of the largest employers in the town, and a key part of the Eastern Bay of Plenty pulp and paper eco-system. It’s great news that a rescue package of international and local investors has come together to shore-up the future of the Mill and the livelihoods of its workers."

Mr O’Riley says that news of further investment in the Mill, with its unique position as the only folding box board mill in Oceania, was a further vote of confidence in its longer-term future.

"It seems as if there is a lot of goodwill towards making this new investment work and while it’s likely there will be some shorter-term transitional issues the longer term view seems very positive for Whakatane. We will be doing our best to encourage New Zealand exporters to utilise their products."

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