Mobil plans to replace its own staff with up to 70 contract agents in a major shakeup at the country's oldest oil company.
The firm's continued operation has been the subject of speculation during the past three years but it says the proposed new structure is a sign of its continued commitment to stay.
Mobil would continue to own the service stations and fuel, but an agent would be contracted to run the day-to-day business. Agents would pay a fee and rent and take a cut of fuel sales and the profit from non-fuel revenue.
They would pay around $75,000 to several hundred thousand dollars to buy into the proposed scheme, a spokeswoman said.
Mobil owns or leases nearly 120 service stations and supplies approximately 170 Mobil branded sites. Agents would replace Mobil staff managers at about 80 sites with some running more than one station.
The spokeswoman said all staff would have to be offered employment at the affected service stations. Some could be interested in becoming agents themselves, she said.
Country manager for Mobil NZ, Andrew McNaught, said the agent scheme created an opportunity for talented small business people to operate their own retail business, with the backing of a major global brand, in a dynamic and competitive market.