New Zealand Herald publisher APN News & Media is closing its Manukau printing plant with the loss of 150 jobs after reaching an agreement with PMP to provide its gloss printing services.

APN said its New Zealand gloss printing operations were no longer core to its strategy.

The 10-year outsourcing contract with commercial printer PMP was a long-term, cost-effective solution to its gloss printing needs in New Zealand, the company said tonight.

APN had considered other options, including a joint venture and selling the facility as a going concern. The plant will close at the end of November, affecting about 150 staff.

"We would have preferred an alternative that did not impact on the staff in this way, but APN's own requirements for specialised gloss printing are not sufficient to justify continued investment by APN in the business," said APN publishing and print chief executive Martin Simons.

There would be limited opportunity for staff redeployment within APN, although some staff would be employed for an extra three months decommissioning the plant.

APN would begin consultation with staff, and provide counselling.

The company's other printing operations, at Ellerslie and regional sites including Tauranga, were not affected as they were based on daily and community newspaper production.

PMP has operations in New Zealand and Australia.

- NZPA