5 Apr 2013

Waikato town welcomes dairy investment

10:27 am on 5 April 2013

The small Waikato town of Pokeno is being touted as a future industrial hub after approval was given to build a large Chinese-owned milk powder plant there.

The $230 million investment by Yashili New Zealand Dairy Company has been given the green light by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

Up to 100 new jobs will be created to operate the plant, and several off-shoot businesses are expected to start as well.

Waikato mayor Allan Stanson says the plant fits in well with the town's planning strategy which includes the development of a large industrial area and several thousand new houses.

The Yashili milk powder plant is expected to begin operating in the second half of next year.

The OIO has also given approval to another Chinese company, the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, to buy the New Zealand company Oceania Dairy and set up an infant milk formula processing plant at Glenavy, in South Canterbury.