Sanitarium staff sent home over earthquake fears

The Sanitarium plant in Christchurch, which manufactures products including Weetbix, has sent home 65 staff.
Photo / Sarah Ivey
The Sanitarium plant in Christchurch, which manufactures products including Weetbix, has sent home 65 staff. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Food manufacturer Sanitarium has sent some 65 staff home after an engineering report raised earthquake-related concerns about buildings on its Christchurch site.

The company, which produces Weet-Bix and Marmite, is waiting for a full report before it decides what the future of the site will be.

General manager Pierre van Heerden did not rule out job losses.

"I think in this day and age anything is possible but we don't even want to think about that, we are hoping we can get the site back up and running again but we just don't know what needs to be done in order to do that,'' he told Radio New Zealand.

The company's Auckland plant had ramped up its operations as a result, and Mr van Heerden was confident it would be able to meet demand.

"After the two earthquakes in September and February down in Canterbury we were able to ensure supply down into the South Island so ... we're basically putting those same principles in place, utilising those same mechanisms to get this done.''

Sanitarium was working with its engineers and the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority to complete the report.

- APNZ

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