Kawerau's community is in shock over the potential closure of its local paper mill.
Owner Norske Skog has met with employees to begin consulting on the future of the operation.
The mill employs 160 people and has been in the small Bay of Plenty town for 65 years.
A spokesman for the company said no decision has been made and consultations will take place over the next few weeks.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
But Mayor Malcolm Campbell says the town is already abuzz with the news.
He says it didn't take too long for it to spread, and there's shock and bewilderment with people asking where to from here.
Campbell says it's another kick in the guts following Covid-19 and that it's another potential blow for the wider area if it were to close.
He says it's certainly not good news for the housing market and employment overall.
E tū organiser Raymond Wheeler said the union was supporting its members through the consultation process.