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Mothballing of Carter Holt's Mataura plant

12 July 2000 Media Statement

Mothballing of Carter Holt's Mataura plant

The mothballing of Carter Holt's Mataura paper mill is very sad, but not surprising, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton said today.

"The mill has been making a loss since 1996 and faces external costs beyond its control.

"This is a very sad time and our thoughts are with the workers and their families.

"My colleague Steve Maharey has pledged that WINZ is ready to work with the affected staff to help them find alternative employment."

Jim Anderton praised Carter Holt for the way it handled the mothballing.

"The company briefed me on the issue yesterday. It has worked closely with the union to try to find a solution to on-going losses.

"It would have been a very hard decision."

Jim Anderton said National's attempts to blame the Government were cynical.

"Bill English seems to be saying that a National-Act government would have handed out money to keep the plant open.

"His attempts to blame ACC reform and labour law changes are an opportunistic attempt to exploit this sad event for political gain, when the company has made it plain that those changes had nothing to do with the decision. In fact, the union has praised Carter Holt for paying fair wages and above-average redundancy. The Employment Relations Bill would not affect it significantly.

"It should be beneath Mr English to try to make political capital from a sad event like this."


ENDS

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