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Major Southland Timber Processor Has Been Sold

Intense competition in the forestry sector coupled with the complications of Covid-19 have prompted long time Southland business Craigpine Timber Ltd to sell its operations to another local company.

The sale to Niagara Sawmilling Company Ltd of the family-owned Winton business will become effective on 18 December 2020.

This brings to an end 98 years of involvement of the Black family in timber processing in New Zealand.

In a statement Craigpine chair Paul Kiesanowski, said the last several years have been increasingly difficult for many timber processors.

“As a result, many companies around the country have consolidated their operations. The competition for log supply has intensified with significant increases in log exports, and world prices for sawn timber impacted by harvesting of windblown and insect damaged trees in the Northern Hemisphere. On top of that, the additional disruption caused by Covid-19 has led to the decision by the shareholders to look to sell the business. This is not a decision the owners have taken lightly.”

He said Craigpine had worked hard to secure as many jobs as possible with Niagara at either the Winton mill, or at the Niagara Kennington plant. Niagara have 53 roles they require filling, either at the Winton or Kennington plant.

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“Unfortunately, there will be a number of redundancies as Niagara has advised us that it is unable to offer jobs to all existing Craigpine employees,” Kiesanowski said.

“The owners appreciate that this a very difficult time and thank staff, together with suppliers and customers for their support over the years.”

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