Looming job losses at Juken NZ's triboard mill in Kaitaia are 'disappointing but necessary.'
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said last week that he had been "interacting" with the JNL executive team regarding the company's proposal to upgrade its triboard mill in Kaitaia (Mill upgrade will bring plant into the future, September 13).
Mr Jones described the job losses expected from the upgrade as "extremely disappointing," but necessary if the mill was to remain viable.
He was heartened that the Japanese-based investors in the mill were willing to continue to back the Kaitaia plant.
JNL, owned by parent company WoodOne, founded in 1990, has invested more than $700 million in its forest and processing operations in New Zealand over the last 20 years.
Mr Jones said he would be meeting with the JNL owners and investors in Japan to discuss ongoing investment in New Zealand, particularly in Northland. He was also in talks with Housing Minister Phil Twyford to ensure that JNL-manufactured products would be used for government housing projects in coming years.
Juken NZ reported a loss of $31.7 million in the year ended March 31, compared to a profit of $31.1 million the year before. That included $75.6 million of impairment charges on plant, equipment and buildings, valued at $47.6 million at March 31, including $7.7 million of investment. Gross profit fell 10 per cent to $38.4 million on a 0.5 per cent increase in revenue, to $221.6 million.