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Carter Holt Harvey CEO Supportive of Kinleith

Date: 1 April 2003

Carter Holt Harvey CEO Supportive of Kinleith

Carter Holt Harvey CEO Peter Springford today expressed the total support of the company and the board for the Kinleith management team’s work over the past year to give the mill a sustainable future.

He also commended the Kinleith team’s efforts to maintain supplies to key customers.

“The need for the mill to pay its way is as strong now as it was on 27 March last year when the restructuring process began.

“The international pulp and paper business remains fiercely competitive, and the rise of the kiwi dollar has only increased the pressure on the mill.

“It is therefore vital that we get Kinleith to a point where it will have a sustainable future, benefiting the local community, the forest industry and the New Zealand economy as a whole.

“I am concerned about the flow-on effects, for our customers and others, of a prolonged strike at Kinleith.

“Many other industries in New Zealand rely on steady supplies of pulp and paper from Kinleith. We have been in close contact with all of our customers throughout the strike, and I support the Kinleith management team’s efforts to maintain supplies of product, particularly to customers in major export industries such as dairying and kiwifruit.

“The strike is destructive for Kinleith and the South Waikato community. Lost wages from the mill means reduced spending power, affecting families, businesses and the community at large.

“The company wants to reach a settlement with the union but after making such good progress over the past year we are not about to bargain away the mill’s future now.

”Unprofitable mills close around the world on a regular basis. Nobody wants this to happen at Kinleith,” Peter Springford said.

- ends -

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