Fisher & Paykel Appliances is to close its small refrigeration appliances factory in Auckland's East Tamaki, with the loss of 186 jobs, saying the plant did not have the scale or cost-competitiveness to remain open.
Currently operating four days a week, the factory is likely to close in two stages, in July and November.
Closure was first indicated in 2007 and the decision was not a reflection on the staff's performance, said managing director Stuart Broadhurst.
"The business has enormous respect for this team - past and present. Until now the factory's staff have staved off the inevitable. However, the harsh reality is this factory is no longer sustainable due to the lack of scale and cost-competitiveness the facility and its products face in today's global whiteware marketplace," he said.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"This factory would have closed much earlier, rather than experience a series of downsizings over recent years, if not for the loyalty and commitment of this team."
Fisher & Paykel would continue to produce specialist componentry and production equipment in New Zealand, but this type of consumer whiteware would be manufactured at its plant in China and by the wider Haier group in China.
Haier first bought into F&P Appliances in 2009, citing its desire to tap into the company's design and innovation capabilities and completed a full takeover in late 2012. Staff would be redeployed within the company where possible, said Broadhurst.
The E tu Union said the loss of the jobs shows the manufacturing sector is not recovering after the global financial crisis and the workers will struggle to find comparable work.
"Many people will have to take insecure, low-paid work which doesn't pay the bills. They may have to move out of their communities or work two or three jobs just to make ends meet. That's the cost of losing local manufacturing," said Bill Newson, E tu national secretary.