Public pressure to retain former Refining NZ operations shows no signs of abating, with a public meeting to be held in Whangārei this weekend.
Social Credit leader Chris Leitch is organising the meeting at the Forum North from 1pm on Sunday, and judging from the vehement opposition to the refinery's closure, he expects a good crowd to be in attendance.
Refining NZ has been trading under the name of Channel Infrastructure since April 1 after converting the site into an import terminal.
Aaron Holroyd, an employee of Channel Infrastructure who finishes at the end of May after 35 years at the refinery, will be among the guest speakers on Sunday.
Others include Brian Cox of the Bio Energy Association, Social Credit's energy spokesperson Jason Jobsis, and Edward Miller of First Union.
"People will have a much better understanding of what's going on. I'd encourage lots of people to share the information about the meeting and post-meeting as a way to try and put pressure on the Government to retain the refinery," Leitch said.
"Even with some assets that have already been dismantled, it will take a small sum of money to reinstate them.
"The interesting thing about the refinery is it's a redundant asset as far as infrastructure is concerned. Its only value is scrap."
Leitch said Refining NZ went to the market not long ago and raised about $45 million to build additional tanks which would take months if not years to be built.
New Zealand was supposed to hold 90 days' worth of refined fuel at any one time but Leitch said the capacity for that amount was just not there at present.
The number of workers at Channel Infrastructure is expected to drop over the next two years from 300 to about 70, with hundreds of contracting jobs and services from associated businesses in wider Northland also likely to go.
Energy Minister Megan Woods earlier said the Government was monitoring the situation closely with regards to fuel security, although it was confident supplies would remain resilient.
To further mitigate the risk of international supply disruptions, the Government has released a consultation paper on onshore fuel stock holding.
It discusses a range of proposals for a minimum onshore fuel stock holding level and the options for how it can be achieved.
Channel Infrastructure will have the capacity to import up to 3.5 billion litres of refined fuel per year.