21 Oct 2013

Fellmonger's closure hurts Shannon marae

7:32 pm on 21 October 2013

Shannon's Poutu Marae in the Horowhenua says whanau have been working at a local sheep-skin processing plant for many years and its closure will have a huge impact on the area.

Silver Fern farms will close its Shannon fellmongery and move the work to a rival facility in Hastings - shedding 86 jobs in the process.

The Meatworkers Union says 80% of the fellmongery workforce is Maori.

The Poutu Marae secretary, Ani Rauhihi-Skipper, says it's going to be a sad loss because many family members from the marae have worked there for years.

She says some people are still looking for work in the area following the closure of the carpet factory in Foxton in 2008.

Ms Rauhihi-Skipper says many people were forced to leave for work in Palmerston North and Australia, and she expects that to happen again.