30 Nov 2015

New fish factory eases frustration in Chathams

9:34 am on 30 November 2015

Chatham Islanders say a new fish factory due to open early next month is a sign that decades of poor investment is being reversed.

Chatham Islands. September 2007.

Photo: Flicker / Ville Miettinen

The island group's largest employer, Māori-owned Aotearoa Fisheries, is putting the final touches to its $3 million factory in the main centre of Waitangi.

Fishing and crayfishing are the island's top earners.

Chatham Islands Mayor Alfred Preece said it was the first major investment in fish processing facilities since the 1960s.

Mr Preece said there had been a lot of frustration about the lack of investment, so the move was very heartening.

"For quite some time there's been a great deal of frustration, certainly I've vented that myself, personally, in the past, about the lack of reinvestment in the Island," Mr Preece said. "It's been a fishbank for generations here and to see this reinvestment's very heartening, I'm sure fellow Islanders feel the same."