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Ngāi Tahu Seafood opens new processing plant

Ngāi Tahu Seafood opens new processing plant

Ngāi Tahu Seafood officially opened a new purpose-built facility in Bluff today - 15 April.

This new facility represents a significant investment in the local community and wider Southland district and it is expected to provide new employment opportunities.

Ngai Tahu Seafood Ltd has operated in Bluff since 1992 in a number of used facilities (three in total). In 2013 the decision was made to build a new purpose-built facility which would be future proofed to enable for expansion for all species and formats such as live fish, crustaceans and shellfish and / or fresh chilled and frozen products.

This is a modern multi-species, single storey seafood processing facility with a floor footprint size of 1650m2 situated on 5000m2 of land in the Bluff Harbour. The plant, which can be further extended in the future if required, currently lands and processes about 50% of the company’s high value quota portfolio, including blue cod, Bluff oysters, crayfish and pāua, with the ability to ramp up to 2-3 times more volume depending on strategic growth prospects.

Currently there are 28 staff working in the new plant although it has the capacity to house 50 if required. The plant currently services around 30 fishers, many of whom whakapapa in to Ngai Tahu or are affiliated through whānau links.

Ngāi Tahu Seafood Chair Craig Ellison says the new state-of-the-art facility is a clear statement that the company is “here to stay.”

“We want to invest where our fishers are based and this new facility is a place to be proud of. It’s a light, open, modern work place and it’s a good safe environment for our workers,” he says.

“We’re heading into the future and we’re doing it in a leading-edge manner. It’s also about handling our fish in the best possible way and having this new factory gives us opportunities to consider other fish processing in the future.”

He says the factory has better capacity for holding lobster along with a very smart room for processing and grading oysters that will ensure top quality is maintained. Greater storage capacity is also provided and the facility includes excellent staff facilities.

Bluff is the “fishing village” of Ngai Tahu Seafood, producing a significant amount of the company’s premium wild-caught kai moana that is taken to market each year; and the new facility is a strategic investment in the community.

“In line with our tribal whakataukī, mō tātou, a, mō kā uri a muri ake nei, the new plant build represents a long term investment for the organisation, for our fishers and the community as a whole; and we have every confidence that this will operate for many years to come,” says Craig Ellison.


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