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Goodman Fielder closures

The Minister for Economic Development, the Hon Jim Anderton was sad to learn of the decision by the Goodman Fielder Group to close its mills in Auckland, Palmerston North and Gore, but said new Industry and Regional development initiatives announced today will allow the government to create jobs for those who have lost them.

“The government is concerned at the effects of closure on the 130 staff employed in those three plants,” Mr Anderton said.

"The government will play an active role in efforts to secure jobs for anyone who doesn’t find a new role within the company.

"The company has advised me that it will provide substantial support to staff and families affected and will be seeking to relocate as many staff as possible to their other operations in New Zealand.

"The company’s willingness to announce the changes some six months in advance of the mill closures should permit a smoother transition.

"Initial speculation about the review which was held earlier this year (in March) claimed that Goodman Fielder were planning to close all four of its domestic flour mills and supply its New Zealand bakeries with flour from Australia.

"I am pleased that the outcome of the review involved less radical changes. I am assured that the Australian-based group intended to retain a major place in the New Zealand milling industry.

"The higher volumes of wheat available for milling in Christchurch and the planned expansion of the Mount Maunganui mill represent economic boosts for those regions.

"The Topoclimate Southland project, in which the Government announced an investment of $1.8 million yesterday and $900,000 for the development of the Tuatapere Hump track, should help the regional economy in Southland as well," Jim Anderton said.

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