Key Points:

Griffin's closed the doors on its Lower Hutt biscuit factory for the last time yesterday, putting 228 people out of work.

The company announced the factory's planned closure last year after 70 years in production, saying it could not justify the investment needed to upgrade ageing equipment at the site.

The factory stopped producing its classic biscuits and crackers last week and staff have spent the past few days dismantling equipment.

Griffin's said it would continue production at its newly revamped factory in Papakura, south Auckland.

The company was established in Nelson by John Griffin in the 1860s. The Lower Hutt factory was opened in 1938 and the Papakura factory in 1967.

Meanwhile, nearly 130 early childhood education centres in New Zealand are being put up for sale by receivers for their Australian owner.

Radio New Zealand reported that the parent company of ABC Developmental Learning Centres - ABC Learning Centres in Australia - got into financial trouble after becoming heavily in debt.

The New Zealand centres cater for 8000 children aged from 6 weeks to 5 years.

ABC Developmental Learning Centres Ltd has emailed parents of children who attend the centres to tell them about the sale, saying the New Zealand company is being sold as a stand-alone business, separate from the Australian parent.

All 127 learning centres and the NZ College of Early Childhood Education in Christchurch are affected.

The company says it does not envisage any centres being closed.

- NZPA