Waverley people are shocked and sad that such a long-standing business in their town is to close.

Staff from Waverley Sawmills used to drop into the Four Square at lunch time and after work - but much of that stopped in mid-January when they knew their jobs were at risk.
.

One staffer is "a little bit gutted" at losing her job of 12 years. She said everybody was told the mill was for sale last year, but also that the new owner might keep it going.

.

Employee Sheryl Bowlin said the closure was awful, and a shame for the families.

Advertisement

"People have to go elsewhere to find jobs and people aren't finding jobs."

The Chronicle talked to two mill staff members, who did not want to be named.
One is among three who have another two months' work, tidying up the mill before it closes.

Some spoke of colleagues who have found new jobs in Marton and Levin.

One staffer is "a little bit gutted" at losing her job of 12 years. She said everybody was told the mill was for sale last year, but also that the new owner might keep it going.

On January 14, when people who had annual leave were told to take it, many simply left. Prisoners who were on release to work finished then too.
.

"It's going to be a big loss to the town, I can tell you that."

.

On February 22 she got a text from her manager, then written notification that her job was gone on February 25. She's not sure what she'll do - perhaps go on a building course.

Many are now in limbo, she said, and the mill hooters that have punctuated Waverley life for decades have fallen silent.

Advertisement

"It's going to be a big loss to the town, I can tell you that."

Whenuakura resident John Howarth, visiting Waverley, agreed with that. He said Waverley had been "on the up a little bit", with shops full.

"It's a huge financial loss for the area, and those little towns like Waverley."

Resident Tony Boarcluff said: "We have got a lot of people around here with no income".

At Waverley's petrol station, owner Davendra Singh said he will miss the workers. He's heard the five main machine operators have gone already.

"It's going to affect all of us, my business too. They did all their shopping here. I basically know most of the workers because they fill up here."

Advertisement

A Waverley business owner who did not want to be named was slightly more hopeful. He said the mill could be re-opened if China stops offering such high prices for logs.