Fairton to Close with 377 Job Losses
Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
Member of Parliament for Northland
17 MAY 2017
FAIRTON TO CLOSE WITH 277 JOB LOSSES
After predicting the closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton plant for a year, NZ First is saddened by the loss of 377 jobs in what is a major blow to Mid-Canterbury.
“It’s a damn disgraceful way to treat loyal staff,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.
“Last August we understood another company was looking at the pelt house operation and these are the only jobs that will be saved.
“When NZ First challenged Silver Fern Farms cowardly managers last year about closures like this, they responded with one hollow denial after another. Now what do we have today, 277 people getting the boot that will likely affect some 1,000 family members.
“These workers and their families have lived on tenterhooks ever since the effective Chinese owner of Silver Fern Farms said Fairton would close in a briefing it gave last year to its shareholders. The quislings denied it and some in the local media went along with it.
“Did the Overseas Investment Office take a blind bit of notice? Of course not.
“And just where are those little rays of sunlight Messrs Joyce and Bridges? Where’s our especially useless Minister for Primary Industries? They’re nowhere to be seen because here today in Ashburton is the real face of National’s economic failure.
“Today’s news rams home not only the price of unfettered foreign ownership but this government’s unwillingness to stop meat processing slipping into foreign control. Half the industry is either foreign-owned or heading that way so we are at the tipping point.
“In a world crying out for high quality protein we should be opening plants not closing them but this government is too dense to figure that out,” says Mr Peters.
In 2016, an Infometrics report for Ashburton District Council listed Meat Processing as the District’s second largest employing industry with 1,317 jobs
Today’s closure represents a 21% loss in Meat Processing jobs in the Ashburton District.