1 February 2012
Sanitarium New Zealand management have shared with their Christchurch Manufacturing staff today a decision to indefinitely suspend Weet-Bix manufacturing operations. The decision was made after considering the Final Engineering Report on the manufacturing buildings received late last week.
After numerous discussions with engineers, insurers and CERA, it became clear that as a result of the February 2011 earthquake the tower block has been damaged to an extent that it puts staff safety at risk.
Therefore, a decision was made to immediately commence deconstruction of the tower block. It’s not a decision the Company has taken lightly or without considering all its options.
Sanitarium’s suspension of Weet-Bix manufacturing operations means employees at the plant were offered redundancy packages and an employee support program to assist them through the transition ahead.
At all times, management’s top priority is the physical safety, and the emotional and financial support for the team affected by this decision.
New Zealanders will continue to enjoy Weet-Bix with stock being supplied from other Sanitarium production sites. Warehousing, Distribution and Sales teams will continue to operate normally from the Christchurch site.
Sanitarium management and engineers are working as quickly as possible to move the Marmite plant once the tower block is removed. The Company’s intention is to get Marmite production back on track as soon as possible.
While the Company is working through these steps for the Christchurch site it is not yet in a position to make a final decision on the future of the site. Management are carefully working through all the options. The review may take from six to nine months.
Work commences on the deconstruction of the tower block on February 2.
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