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Whānau Must Be Supported As Waiariki Braces For Loss Of Jobs

Te Ururoa Flavell
MP for Waiariki
Wednesday 9th January 2013

Whānau Must Be Supported As Waiariki Braces For Loss Of Jobs

Waiariki MP for the Māori Party Te Ururoa Flavell is disappointed at the decision confirmed today by Norske Skog that 100 workers will lose their jobs at the Kawerau-based Paper Mill.

‘The next few months will be difficult for the families of Kawerau and workers from across the Bay of Plenty,’ said Mr Flavell today.

‘From its peak a few years ago of employing 2,000 people, the plant now has less than 200 staff. This makes for tough times not just in Kawerau but for the whole Eastern Bay of Plenty region. The flow-on effect of the machine closure in Kawerau will mean less demand for wood products from forestry companies close by, inevitably leading to more job losses in the industry.’

‘The Government needs to move quickly to protect increasingly fragile local economies, not just for the benefit of local whānau and businesses, but for New Zealand as a whole.’

‘The downsizing of industries like this mill in Kawerau could unravel the closeness of heartland New Zealand and of iwi and hapū still living within our own tribal territories. These people may soon have no choice but to find jobs and decent wages further afield from their papakāinga.’

‘What is even more concerning is that this closure could contribute to an increase in poverty and benefit dependency and a lack of opportunities for those left without employment. It is up to all of us to ensure that the affected whānau have our support in times of need.’

Mr Flavell urges the Government to assist small local communities like Kawerau to find solutions that will breathe life into our ailing economy.


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