Te Rapa paper plant to close

ANGELA CUMING
Last updated 09:46 19/07/2012

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Up t0 140 Waikato workers will lose their jobs when a multinational producer of paper products closes its Te Rapa plant.

SCA Hygiene Australasia yesterday told its workforce, understood to number about 190, that most of them will be out of work when the Foreman Rd plant closes in early 2014.

The workers would be offered counselling and "outplacement support" by the company, along with redundancy entitlements.

The company had been weighing up its options as part of its "strategic review" of its New Zealand operations.

The company makes tissue, nappies and personal care hygiene products under a range of well-known names, including Tena, Purex and Treasures brands.

The news comes as another blow for the local job market, which is struggling with an unemployment rate that increased to 7.2 per cent for the year till March 2012 and hovers stubbornly above the national average of 6.5 per cent.

SCA Hygiene president Peter Diplaris said the decision was "not a reflection on the efforts or contribution of our people at Te Rapa".

"But [it] rather reflects the challenging economic and market environment we continue to operate within, including the pressure of imports."

SCA Hygiene will go ahead with a $57 million upgrade to its plant at Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty. That plant employs about 200 people. It is unclear if any new jobs will be created as part of the upgrade.

"If job opportunities do arise in Kawerau the people from Te Rapa will be able to apply for these in the usual manner," SCA said.

SCA HYGIENE

Subsidiary of Sweden's Svenska Cellulosa AB Produces tissue and personal hygiene products Brands include Sorbent, Purex and Orchid.

Employs 1400 people across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji About 190 employed at Te Rapa.

Auckland factory closed in 2009.

Kiwi employees: 622 in 2009 – 573 in 2010

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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