Ballance Kapuni this month celebrates the 30th year of the plant's operation.
Kaponga resident Tony Hardcastle (64), who has been at the plant since 1982 and seen it evolve through various ownership and management structures, says "you just carry on with the job". The plant was part of ex Prime Minister Rob Muldoon's Think Big project.
"It is like a small isolated island in a way. It has a great work culture." Being a reliability support engineer the role offers him the opportunity to do what he says he likes best: to fix things. "It is very rewarding to see things running for years. It is amazing, to look back and think I was part of that."
He lives with wife Ruth, who breeds guinea pigs, on a three-acre farm. Having been an aircraft engineer he says it was a "culture shock" coming to this plant, but that he was soon hooked on Taranaki..