Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Job losses on hold at Carter Holt Harvey

A last minute buy-out could save the jobs of up to 50 workers and contractors at a Rotorua timber processing plant.

On November 22, workers at Carter Holt Harvey Rotorua Profiles plant were told the company was proposing to close the plant on December 20, with a further 18 jobs on the line at Carter Holt Harvey's plywood processing plant in Tokoroa.

The company cited a fall in demand from export markets in Australia and the decline of new building work in New Zealand as the reason for the proposed redundancies.

However, at a meeting on Monday, workers were told another company was looking seriously at buying the plant and continuing its operation.

Site safety supervisor Daniel Mathew said staff were told closure talks had been suspended yesterday because a potential buyer for the plant had made an offer.

"We will find out on Thursday. But everyone was in a much happier mood today. The talk is a decision will be made by the 20th of December."

Mr Mathew said some of the younger workers had already decided to move to Australia to find work.

"We are all pretty keen to stay on here, so any news like this is good news."

Carter Holt Harvey human resources director Kim Lee, who is based in Australia, previously told The Daily Post it was the company's policy not to comment during redundancy talks.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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