DB Breweries' investment in a new regionally focused brewery at Mangatainoka is great news - but jobs will go as a result.

But Tararua District mayor Roly Ellis is delighted the brewery has decided to make a continued commitment to the district.

"I'm very pleased they've decided to change tack and take the plunge by putting money into the Mangatainoka site," he said.

"The commitment of between $4 and $5 million is a good dollop of money going into reinvigorating the business.


"The fact it's being kept going, that's very good. "

Construction of a new brewery at the existing Tui Brewery site begins in October and, combined with the earthquake strengthening works on the iconic Tui Tower, will result in a multi-million-dollar investment into preserving and improving the site.

While the new brewery will safeguard the future of brewing on site, changing production requirements will see a smaller capacity brewery replace the existing brew plant, with 13 full-time and 11 part-time roles to go as a result. DB Breweries spokesman Matt Wilson said although the changes had been confirmed they would not take effect until the new brewery was operational, likely to be in May next year.

"It's hoped some of the affected staff will be able to be relocated to other DB sites or redeployed to the new brewery, as well as some assisting with the decommissioning works on the existing brew plant, which could take until December next year.

"This has not been an easy decision to come to and it's certainly not something anyone at DB has taken lightly.

"We've considered a spectrum of options and we believe that the best outcome for the region and the brand is to keep an operational brewery on site at reduced production capacity," he added.

"Our thoughts go to our people at this difficult time.

"We will be working closely with them over the next few months to identify employment opportunities within the community and provide individualised career transition support including counselling, retraining and financial planning advice.


"We are also exploring redeployment opportunities within the wider DB business.

"We've worked hard to give people as much notice of the redevelopment as possible, which we hope allows plenty of time for considering options and planning for the future."

The new brewery will service the region as well as brewing up to six bespoke Tui beers on site.

DB believes the new brewery will enhance the current Tui HQ experience with the view to generating further tourism for the area, as well as giving the brewery added flexibility to experiment with some innovative new Tui brews.

Tui Brewery's Nick Rogers said: "Currently 45,000 people visit the site each year and since 2006 we've seen visitor numbers increasing steadily.

"We started with just two staff and now employ at least 13 permanent staff as well as up to seven contractors throughout the year, host functions, weddings, events, tours and have a restaurant and museum on site.

"We expect the new, enhanced experience will result in a steep increase in visitors of around 30 per cent in the next year or so."

Mr Rogers said the news reinforces DB's commitment to ensuring the Tui Brewery remains part of the community and a strong supporter of the region for many years into the future.

And it is that strong support which Mr Ellis said was so vital to the region.

"Tui has always been a great supporter of many different organisations in the Tararua and they've been at the forefront of supporting our farmers during three years of drought too," he said.

"We've got a lot to thank Tui for, especially they way they've got behind this district."

Mr Ellis said he does drink Tui "now and then" and believes in a changing market they're doing the right thing.

"In this day and age businesses have to adapt and Tui is going that way appealing to a niche market and I'm very pleased.

"I believe the investment will attract more tourists to this expanding iconic brewery."

Mr Rogers said the brewery is a Mangatainoka icon, immortalised by the Tui Tower.

"For 126 years we've been brewing beer on this site. The redevelopment and strengthening show we're here to stay."

The Tui Tower, a Category 1 heritage listed building, is set to under go base isolation works, similar to Te Papa in Wellington.

Original building contractor, Fletcher Building, has been appointed to replace the foundations with sliding bearings designed to cushion and absorb the movement created by an earthquake.

The interior of the tower will also be strengthened with steel bracing rods.

The new brewery is expected to open in May next year.