Oamaru's mayor says he is optimistic for the future of the town's historic woollen mill now it has re-hired more than 60 staff.
The new owner of the Summit Wool Spinners factory, Godfrey Hirst, has restarted production with 61 workers until May so it can assess the plant's long-term viability.
The mill made the entire workforce of 192 people redundant at the end of February as part of the sale.
The Waitaki district mayor, Alec Familton, says the mill has survived for 130 years and Godrey Hirst is taking it back to a sustainable level.
Mr Familton says he is sure the mill has a strong future, as people rediscover the natural advantages of woollen carpets over synthetics.
He says 30 other Summit Wool employees have been re-employed in the district.