The arrival of a $400 million plasterboard manufacturing and distribution facility to Tauranga is expected to create about 100 permanent jobs for the city.
Fletcher Building has announced it will relocate its Auckland-based Winstone Wallboards manufacturing and distribution operation to Tauranga.
The new plasterboard facility is about a $400m investment (50 per cent land and buildings, 50 per cent equipment) to ensure continuity of supply in New
Zealand and enable Winstone Wallboards to meet demand long term.
It is planned to open in the Tauriko Business Estate in 2023 and will create about 100 new permanent jobs in Tauranga. About 300 people will work on-site at peak construction.
Fletcher Building chief executive Ross Taylor said the larger, more efficient facility in Tauranga would help futureproof plasterboard manufacturing in New Zealand.
"Our current site in Onehunga, Central Auckland is landlocked, which has prevented us from expanding our operations and improving efficiencies by consolidating manufacturing and distribution on the same site."
Taylor said the site at Tauriko industrial park was more than double the size of its current facility and would allow further growth in the future.
"The location is ideal for North Island distribution, as well as being near the Port of Tauranga for delivery of raw materials used to manufacture plasterboard."
He said the new plant would also be more environmentally friendly, allowing the company to recycle used plasterboard and reduce carbon emissions by 10 per cent, and 30 per cent over 10 years.
"This new investment will ensure we can continue to support our customers both now and in the future."
Winstone Wallboards was working with its Auckland employees through the plant build and transition and would offer transfer opportunities. Its Wellington and Christchurch operations will remain unchanged.
The news of the relocation was a testament to Tauranga as a residential and corporate destination Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said.
"The future of downtown Tauranga is a very desirable suburb. So it comes as no surprise to me that people want to relocate here.
"Having Winstone Wallboards here really does highlight the level of attractiveness of this city."
Powell believed the parent company of the organisation, Fletcher Building, chose Tauranga for a range of reasons but most obviously for the access to the Port of Tauranga.
"But also from the distribution point of view, they believe this is a great place to be."
Tauriko Business Estate director Bryce Donne said the company's relocation was fantastic news for the industrial estate and for the region.
"It is one of New Zealand's oldest and most established plasterboard companies making the choice to invest in a 50-year facility in the Bay."
Donne said he had enjoyed working with the company during the last 18 months and was pleased to be able to provide a location in Tauranga.
"I think that more and more logistics-based businesses, especially if they have a reliance on the Port of Tauranga, will be looking to Tauranga.
"Everyone likes to see a big well-established company relocate. That gives them confidence that they can do it, too."
Priority One chief executive Nigel Tutt said the company's arrival was a "vote of confidence" for Tauranga as a place to make the longer-term investment.
"It will create jobs both directly in the manufacturing facility as well as the industries attached to it.
"Having New Zealand's strongest port is a massive factor in large investment coming here."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Matt Cowley said Priority One and the councils had worked well together to attract such a major operation into the region.
"It will provide a great case study for other Auckland businesses that Tauranga city would like to selectively target."
Cowley said the continued attraction to the Tauriko industrial zone further demonstrated Tauranga's close economic ties with the Waikato.
"This means State Highway 29 corridor needs to be proactively managed to ensure it is a safe and reliable route for businesses and daily commuters."