Villa Maria’s Māngere operations will start shutting down this October and will affect a total of 14 roles, owner Indevin announced today.
Indevin Group, who acquired Villa Maria in 2021, said the decision follows a three-month review into its Māngere operations after the company announced it will move half of Villa Maria’s bottling to the UK next February.
The Māngere plant will start decommissioning in October and is expected to continue until next April, the company announced.
Chief executive Duncan McFarlane said in a statement: “The review also considered the suitability of the large Māngere site operations in relation to the changes that have already happened there, including the closure of the Cellar Door & Restaurant, opening of our Newmarket office and the recent shift to UK bottling.”
Māngere’s winery operations will move to Indevin’s existing wineries in Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne from October.
McFarlane said four winery roles have been affected but workers will have the option to transfer to other locations: “However, for our winery teams we have a number of internal deployment opportunities, both in Auckland and other Indevin locations.”
Bottling will continue in Māngere until the company finds a new location for the plant.
“In due course we will be moving the current bottling site to an alternate site. The search is currently underway for a suitable location…,” McFarlane said.
McFarlane told the Herald in June that he could not provide details for any job losses at the Māngere plant: “We’re not at a point where any decision has been made, and we’re certainly not at a point where we’re indicating any loss of jobs.”
He said the Māngere plant has about 60 full-time staff spread across warehousing and bottling and that staff not involved in production had been moved to Indevin’s Newmarket office.
Warehousing is expected to shift to a third-party provider from October 27, impacting 10 roles which McFarlane also said will have the option to rejoin Indevin.
“We are also working with our new partner who have indicated warehousing roles are available and they welcome the opportunity to consider our employees for these,” he said in a statement.
In 2021, the Herald reported the sale of Villa Maria’s winery business in Māngere to Indevin and the surrounding land to Goodman Property Trust after the wine brand went into receivership.
Goodman revealed it had a conditional agreement to buy the 34ha for $75m.
Today’s announcement said Indevin has “formally consulted with impacted Māngere operations staff”: “Employees involved in this process submitted excellent feedback.”
McFarlane said, “The teams at Māngere have been presented with summaries of this feedback, our response, and associated changes to the proposal.”
He said, “Our ongoing investment and focus within Indevin Group will be centred on our brands, viticulture, winemaking, and wineries, so the plans announced today will help us build on these and progress our vision to become one of the world’s great wine companies.”
Alka Prasad is an Auckland-based business reporter covering small business and retail.