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  • Stop of export to Australia results in job losses at McCain Foods New Zealand
McCain Foods (NZ) Limited -Hastings (Courtesy Hawke's Bay Today/Paul Taylor)
McCain Foods New Zealand says it intends to stop exporting to Australia and manufacture the products solely for the domestic market, resulting in job losses at Hastings plant.

About 20 food manufacturing workers at the McCain Foods, Hastings plant are expected to lose their jobs.

Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) organiser Thomas O'Neill said the plant announced to workers yesterday a proposal to reduce year-round production of TV dinners to just 10 days per year.

22 jobs would be lost, Mr O'Neill said.

Workers received letters citing the high dollar as the reason for the job losses.

"Staff are absolutely gutted.

"With unemployment in Hawke's Bay at over 9 per cent, there is just nothing out there. The high dollar is kicking the guts out of food manufacturing and export."

A McCain Foods spokesman said the company would try to find positions for affected staff within the vegetable plant.

The spokesman would not confirm an exact figure but said "around 20" jobs would be lost.

"Obviously there are opportunities to find jobs for a lot of those 20 [workers]."

Mr O'Neill said while there may be limited opportunities for staff to shift to packhouse work or part-time harvesting, "of course not everyone will be accomodated".