Whakatane Mill closure terrible news

Mar 16, 2021

The EMA says the announcement today that the Whakatane Mill is closing is terrible news for the management team, employees, and the wider community.

"Our thoughts are with everyone in Whakatane today, as this is a decision that everyone was hoping would not be necessary," says Chief Executive Brett O’Riley.

"It’s such a shame that no viable option emerged from its consultation process, and that without a buyer the only option has been for the mill to close."

The company will cease production on June 21 with 210 employees being made redundant, followed by the decommissioning of the plant and expected final closure on June 30, 2021.

Mr O’Riley says the EMA supports member businesses throughout the Bay of Plenty and hopes that through its involvement with the successful Rotorua-based ReTrain programme it may be able to help.

"It’s very sad to see a business that has been producing paper and packaging products for more than 80 years close because the competitiveness of its products has been eroded," he says.

"If we can do anything at all to help, we will."

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