Redundant mill workers may leave for Australia
Demand for newsprint is dropping
There are fears many of the 110 workers to be made redundant from a Bay of Plenty paper mill in Kawerau will be forced to look for work in Australia.
Waiariki Maori MP Te Ururoa Flavell wants Government action.
"I think that we've got to look at some sort of employment schemes which at least bridge the gap for some time to allow families to adjust."
Owner Norske Skog said in September last year one of the newsprint machines at the mill, built in the 1950s, is to close. Yesterday it confirmed the number of jobs to be lost, saying 169 would remain.
"As is widely understood, this decision has been brought about by global market forces within our industry and no one is to blame," mill general manager Peter McCarty said.
The remaining machine at the mill would continue to produce newsprint for customers in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.
Norske Skog announced in September it would invest AU$84 million ($105m) to convert a machine at its Boyer mill in Tasmania to coated grade paper with financial help from the federal and state governments.
Prime Minister John Key said at the time the Government would not step in to help keep the Kawerau mill going and said it was a sign of the challenging times the newspaper industry was facing.
RadioLIVE / 3 News / NZN