Far East mill aims for April start

EMPLOYMENT HOPES: Far East Sawmills managing director Wade Glass talks to potential employees about job prospects and company goals at a public meeting at the Emerald Hotel yesterday. Gisborne mill manager Tony Desmond sits at left. Picture by Paul Rickard

FAR East Sawmills aims to be in production by mid to late April, the company announced at a public meeting at the Emerald Hotel yesterday.

Managing director Wade Glass said 50 full-time employees would be engaged within two to two-and-a-half weeks, followed by a month of training in Gisborne or Rotorua.

He was pleased by the estimated turn-out yesterday of about 70 potential employees.

Tony Desmond, who will manage the Gisborne plant, said more chairs had to be put out.

“I am amazed by how many people are here. Brilliant,” he said.

The full-time jobs will consist of four rolling stock operators, 18 green mill operators, nine timber graders, three filleting, five planers and packers, three office staff and eight other positions.

Mr Glass said 5000 tonnes of timber would go into the mill each month during the first year of operations as they found their feet. In the second year, 10,000 tonnes would go through the mill monthly.

There would inevitably be teething problems starting a mill from scratch. The mill was a good one, but it had not operated for seven years (when Prime Sawmill closed).

More capital expenditure would be needed on the plant from December, leading to greater financial sustainability and an additional eight jobs.

New equipment would include an automatic grading machine and an automatic de-barker.

Mr Desmond thanked Mr Glass taking the mill on. The success of the mill depended on the people working in it.

“We want people who are as committed to it as we are.”

People with a work ethic were wanted.

“We can teach them the skills they need.”

Mr Desmond said they had been told their ambitions were realistic, and the Gisborne community wanted the mill to succeed.

FAR East Sawmills aims to be in production by mid to late April, the company announced at a public meeting at the Emerald Hotel yesterday.

Managing director Wade Glass said 50 full-time employees would be engaged within two to two-and-a-half weeks, followed by a month of training in Gisborne or Rotorua.

He was pleased by the estimated turn-out yesterday of about 70 potential employees.

Tony Desmond, who will manage the Gisborne plant, said more chairs had to be put out.

“I am amazed by how many people are here. Brilliant,” he said.

The full-time jobs will consist of four rolling stock operators, 18 green mill operators, nine timber graders, three filleting, five planers and packers, three office staff and eight other positions.

Mr Glass said 5000 tonnes of timber would go into the mill each month during the first year of operations as they found their feet. In the second year, 10,000 tonnes would go through the mill monthly.

There would inevitably be teething problems starting a mill from scratch. The mill was a good one, but it had not operated for seven years (when Prime Sawmill closed).

More capital expenditure would be needed on the plant from December, leading to greater financial sustainability and an additional eight jobs.

New equipment would include an automatic grading machine and an automatic de-barker.

Mr Desmond thanked Mr Glass taking the mill on. The success of the mill depended on the people working in it.

“We want people who are as committed to it as we are.”

People with a work ethic were wanted.

“We can teach them the skills they need.”

Mr Desmond said they had been told their ambitions were realistic, and the Gisborne community wanted the mill to succeed.

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