Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Alliance Pukeuri

The meat processing plant at Pukeuri is the district's biggest employer. As you will probably know, it is currently having some problems with its export certificates for lamb going into China. Staff at the company are working frantically to get this sorted as soon as possible, so they can get the plant back on track and get all of the workers back intoi work and earning money. The process of recertifying the plant is not an easy one though, with the Ministry of Primary Industries involved in the audit and compliance role.

Aerial photo of the plant courtesy of Alliance Pukeuri's website
The issue emphasises several things - one is the reliance of the district on the plant as the largest employer of people, with around 950 working at the plant. Secondly, it shows just how easy it is to get something wrong in the modern export world, which demands accountability, traceability and audited processes for all aspects of food export. Thirdly, we get to see how the community gathers around those most in need when they need it. Although it is still relatively early in the piece, the last thing thee workers needed was to be laid off so soon. Around 240 people are affected and a good number have needed assistance. This can be from Work & Income and other agencies. Unfortunately, there are around 25 workers who are not able to access any assistance as they are here on work permits. So they are being put in contact with the local immigrant service and food banks as needed.

Hopefully the plant gets back into action very soon and the workers start earning again. In the meantime, there are some trying times for a good number of our people, along with the effects of a couple of hundred thousand dollars missing from our local economy every week. Best wishes to those affected!

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