Business welcomes Fonterra expansion

Some small Southland towns are "falling apart", but Edendale's future looks bright, a long-time business owner says.

The Edendale community has welcomed news the Fonterra plant is expanding, saying it can only be good for the town and local businesses.

Edendale Garage owner Russell Agnew said many small Southland towns were falling apart because big companies had moved out, so expansion at the Fonterra plant was great news for the town's residents.

"It's got to be good for Edendale, of course it does. It's pretty bloody good, it keeps the town alive."

Agnew has been in business at Edendale for 43 years.

"The population hasn't changed much but there's a lot of new houses. It's one of the tidier towns if you look around."

His business benefited from the presence of the Fonterra plant, with workers buying fuel from him and dropping their vehicles off for warrant of fitness checks and other mechanical work.

"It brings money to the town. They aren't only coming to us, they are coming to other local businesses."

Craig Martin, an engineer/driver with Edendale's Caldwell agricultural contracting said about half its work was provided by Fonterra so any expansion at the plant could only be good news.

"They are why we are setting up new trucks and new tanks so it's done a very good turn for this business."

Some of the workers at the Fonterra plant lived in Edendale but many were from out of town.

Rachel Hills, owner of Edendale's Jagged Razors hairdressing shop, said 25 new jobs could bring 20 families to the area.

"It won't just affect Edendale, it affects the wider community."

Edendale Butchery manager Dave Michel said more jobs at the Fonterra plant meant more job opportunities for young people.

Edendale's Pioneer Tavern manager Denise Conlon said the expansion at the Fonterra plant may bring new people into the district.

"I think it will be really great for the community." 

The Southland Times