This morning's sudden closure of Rotorua's controversial Lumbercube mill has come as a shock and surprise to many in the community.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the biggest losers today were the people who had - directly and indirectly - lost their jobs.

"I really feel for the staff, no-one has won today," she said.

"This has been a difficult issue, trying to balance things. We had lots of people affected by the noise of the operation, but now we have got even more affected by the closure, not just staff, but those around the edges like truck drivers and all the other associated jobs.


"I think today we should focus on those that have lost their jobs and we will soon find out what has happened.

"I'm not sure of the reasons why, but it would not have been an easy decisions for the mill's owners as they have invested significantly in the mill," Mrs Chadwick said.

Eastside Residents Association chairman Ra Daniels said no-one was celebrating the closure and he did not see it as any sort of victory.

The association was set up to combat noise issues coming from the mill that had received more than 2500 noise complaints since it opened in September last year.

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"It's a big surprise, nobody from our association thought it would get to this stage."

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1 Jul, 2016 9:05am
2 minutes to read

"We are not trying to paint this as a victory, it was never about trying to close the place down, but it goes without saying that many residents on the eastside will be relieved the noise has gone."

"This does not mean these people are pleased so many people have lost their jobs, that was never the intention of the group. We all understand the need for employment and opportunity, but we were looking for a satisfactory solution to address the noise issues," Mr Daniels said.

Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Darrin Walsh was unaware of the news before being contacted by the Rotorua Daily Post.

"It will be obvious from a commercial and an industry perspective disappointing to see them go."

The mill's management have not yet confirmed how many jobs were affected by today's announcement.

Rotorua Lakes Council chief executive Geoff Williams said it had been a testing time for the mill.

"The challenge of a business is to try to be viable and meet all its obligations and we know that's been testing for Lumbercube.

"The focus right now will be on the mill staff and their families, as well as other service providers who may be affected by the closure. Council has a responsibility both as an enabler of business and as a regulator and the challenge in this case has been balancing those roles."

"We had been working towards what we felt would be a tangible long-term solution but ultimately, a business decision has been made."

"We will be in contact with the mill operators at the appropriate time to see if there is any support they need from us and get clarity around any matters that may require council's involvement."