Job-rich dairy plan welcomed

By Amie Hickland

Wairarapa towns have been urged to promote themselves as a great place to live to benefit from a major project announced this week that will create 45 permanent jobs and bring hundreds of short-term positions.

Dairy giant Fonterra is planning a $250million expansion to its Pahiatua site.

It is estimated 400 to 500 short-term jobs would be created during construction, along with 45 new fulltime positions when the extension is operating in 2015.

The company has still to apply for consent to the Tararua District Council and the Horizons Regional Council.

Manawatu/Wairarapa Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stephanie Gundersen-Reid expected the project to have a great impact on the local economy.

She said it would affect all industries from farming to retail.

"I think it will have a positive impact economically for our region," she said.

"It's a great opportunity for businesses in the Wairarapa and Pahiatua."

Ms Gundersen-Reid said although it would be likely that new people would move into the region, it would be up to the towns to promote themselves as a great place to live.

Federated Farmers Wairarapa dairy chair Chris Engel said the project was a great move for the region and the industry.

However, he expected it would not have a direct effect on Wairarapa dairy farmers.

The project involves a new drier at the Pahiatua plant, which would produce up to 85,000 metric tonnes of milk powder.

"If it can be made locally, it's got to be good for the region and everyone," said Mr Engel.

Tararua Mayor Roly Ellis previously told the Times-Age his council was willing to work with Fonterra through the consent process. "It's extremely good news for Pahiatua and we like to think, with the number of jobs, people would want to move into the area," he said.


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