Only a day before the new coalition Government announced royalties would be charged on bottled water exports, Zodiac Holdings pulled the plug on its bottling plant at Poroti Springs.
However, the company might consider building a bottling plant at the industrial park near Marsden Point.
Zodiac's managing director Paul Thompson told the Northern Advocate the company still intended future activities at Poroti despite dropping its bottling plant plans.
"While local employment was not considered as a positive or mitigating factor by submitters under our proposal, we still envisage the majority of employment opportunities going forward remaining in Northland, ideally in an industrial zone adjacent to Northport," he said.
On Monday, Mr Thompson officially notified Whangarei District Council it was withdrawing its land use consent application to build the Poroti bottling plant.
"Zodiac, in making its decision, has been giving consideration to a range of commercial drivers, and also submissions received on matters [related] to the land use consent application for the construction of a water bottling plant.
"[Recognising] Zodiac are not obligated under conditions of its water take consent to bottle on-site, we are now considering a range of alternatives which may or may not require the establishment of bottling plant operations, for the bottling of water, on Zodiac's land."
The company still has consent to extract up to 2.5 million litres of water a day, which it could truck to the existing bottling plants in Auckland or elsewhere.
While Zodiac had referred to local employment opportunities during the land use consent process, yesterday was the first time an alternative Whangarei bottling site had been thrown into the mix.
Mr Thompson deflected questions about how much the three coalition parties' intentions - well-flagged during the election campaign - to levy bottled water exports influenced Zodiac's decision.
The coalition confirmed that policy on Tuesday. In early September, Zodiac shelved its consent application for two weeks, saying it needed time to review the submissions received.
The company did not resume the process when that suspension period ended but the application has remained alive until now.