Editorial published October 2, on what at the time was a proposal.
To understand the magnitude of Mars Petcare's proposal to close its Wanganui factory and shift its operation to Thailand next year – just imagine if the opposite was true.
Imagine the economic impact of a company turning up all of a sudden with 150 jobs and a chest of sponsorship money.
"Mars is a major employer for Whanganui and a significant contributor to the local economy," people and organisation manager Rose Johnson said of the company just a year ago.
• Mars Petcare announces plan to close Whanganui factory
• Whanganui business leaders react to Mars Petcare closure proposal
• Proposed closure of Whanganui petfood factory a shock
• Mars Petcare celebrates 25 years in Whanganui
Well, it looks like it might not be for much longer with yesterday's announcement of the proposed closure at the end of next year.
And that therefore will be just as "major" and "significant" for Whanganui - sadly for the opposite reason.
It will be 150 sets of wages no longer be flowing into the local economy and the massive domino effect that creates.
The decision is somewhat puzzling.
Mars is deeply ingrained in the Whanganui community, by all accounts a good employer with long-serving staff, a big sponsor of community events and had just celebrated 25 years with talk of the future.
But of course, it's business, and business is only part of a community until it makes better sense not to be.
Now, Whanganui has to pick up the pieces and while 150 jobs can be wiped out with one decision, creating them will take much longer and be much tougher.
Whanganui and Partners, the Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union, politicians and the community will need to work together.
It will be interesting to see if Whanganui has the momentum to absorb the blow.
Of course, Mars will play a big role in this with redundancy packages and making it easy for staff to find new work.
We can expect them to act in good faith.
But it will still be a painful time for many individuals and families who have given so much to Mars and now face an uncertain time.
That's who everyone's thoughts will be with at the moment.
•This article was originally published on October 2, 2019.