Work and Income have reached out to Lumbercube management in a bid to help staff affected by the closure.

Bay of Plenty Regional Commissioner for Social Development Mike Bryant
said they contacted Lumbercube yesterday and would meet them next week.

"We do have a process that we put in place around closures. We hope to support the management and staff involved, we have been in touch with Lumbercube and they are keen to work with us," he said.

"Our focus is to support them [workers] into gaining employment, but they will need information around benefits, we are hoping to provide this information on site."


He said when people were laid off in situations such as this they were quite often people with a good work history so a lot of people would be interested in hiring them.

"While it's always sad and disappointing when there are closures, the good thing is the labour market is fairly buoyant at the moment so there is a strong possibility that we will be able to help them move into other jobs."

Rotorua Salvation Army commanding officer Ralph Overbye said its foodbank could potentially receive an influx depending on how the closure was managed.

"Last time with Tachikawa, workers were kept in a state of limbo where they were not issued with notification that their contracts were being dissolved, and because of that they were still technically employed and did not meet the criteria for financial assistance.

"As a result we did see an increase in people requiring welfare assistance. Services we would offer here would be welfare assistance and advocacy, which includes financial advocacy, ie negotiating payment holidays with creditors."

"We recommend that in the first instance they should approach their union representatives for advice and support. Other avenues of support would be the Salvation Army, Work & Income, Budgeting Services and Citizens Advice Bureau."

? Employers with suitable job vacancies can call Work and Income on (07) 921 8125