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Transit stomps on Auckland manufacturer, 55 jobs at risk

Transit stomps on Auckland manufacturer, another 55 jobs at risk

Metal tube and wire products manufacturer Wire by Design says it has to close its Auckland based factory, citing 'unacceptable delays' by government agency Transit NZ in managing the compulsory purchase and move of the business to a new site.

The company owner Hadley Wright says it's a sad but inevitable step, following a string of delays and legal arguments by Transit that have prevented his business from resuming full production and meeting a back-log of customer orders.

'I feel like I've been stomped on well and truly by Transit,' says Wright. 'From December last year to mid-July I couldn't produce anything. I'm still waiting for the factory to be finished. Transit won't even connect the factory to the main sewerage line.'

'I've kept my staff on the books all of that time. But now there's no more money. I have to let them go.'

The threatened closure of the relocated factory will cost 55 jobs. Further jobs in downstream manufacturing are also under threat.

Joe Gallagher, senior organiser for the EPMU, the union representing workers at the factory, says it's a crying shame. 'All the effort that's been put into keeping these workers in jobs, and Transit's refusing to consider reimbursement.'

'All Transit can say is that the company will have the opportunity to put its case in court. In the meantime another 55 jobs go to the wall.'

Transit NZ completed the compulsory purchase of Wire by Design's leasehold factory last year to make way for the building of State Highway 20 in time for the Rugby World Cup.

In November of last year the factory was almost forced to close when Transit refused to provide a written undertaking that they would be reimbursed for the move.

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