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Sealed Air closing Rotorua, New Zealand, plant

By: Kate Tilley

April 11, 2013

ROTORUA, NEW ZEALAND — A New Zealand plastic packaging manufacturer will phase down production at its Rotorua manufacturing plant and aims to close the site by mid-2014.

Sealed Air (New Zealand) Ltd. said in a statement the "ongoing challenging business environment" has driven the company to consolidate its facilities to reduce overhead costs and focus production on the most modern, efficient equipment.

The company is a subsidiary of global manufacturer Sealed Air Corp., headquartered in Elmwood Park, N.J. The parent company makes food and protective packaging; and cleaning and hygiene products. It has 145 manufacturing operations in 62 countries.

 Sealed Air (NZ) on April 9 announced that it will combine its Rotorua and Hamilton operations over the next 12 months.

"Sealed Air anticipates a full transfer of its operations out of the Rotorua facility by mid-2014, at which time it is proposed the site will be closed," the company statement said.  

The Rotorua site is 140 miles southeast of New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, and Hamilton is 80 miles south of Auckland. Both sites manufacture multiwall bags and film coextrusions for food packaging, predominantly from low and linear low density polyethylene, nylon and ethylene vinyl alcohol.

Sealed Air (NZ) also has plants in Auckland and Wellington.

Peter Cooper-Davies, whose Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union represents workers at the Rotorua plant, said the closure will affect 112 staff, although about 30 will likely be offered alternative employment in Hamilton. Some workers were already relocated in February to run a new line that makes multiwall bags used to package bulk milk powder.