There are more jobs than workers for sawmill staff being laid off from the Carter Holt Harvey plant in Putaruru.
Carter Holt Harvey announced last month it would close the mill in the North Island town with the loss of 212 jobs.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union organiser Red Middlemiss says locals rallied to create 60 positions almost immediately.
He said workers at a plywood mill in nearby Tokoroa then agreed to reduce their hours to 42 a week, so an extra shift of 80 staff could be introduced.
Mr Middlemiss said many of the laid-off Putaruru workers decided to retire, so there are now not enough people to fill the 140 newly-created jobs.