Appeal may precipitate move
Arapuni Milk could be on the move, to Okoroire.
Zoagn, the backers of the milk powder factory planned for Arapuni, are looking at a site in Okoroire following appeals to their resource consent.
The Arapuni Milk plant was granted resource consent in October and has been appealed by Ngati Koroki Kahukura Trust leading to concerns from South Waikato District mayor Neil Sinclair that Zoagn would pull out of the district.
While the company has said it was confident of resolving its issues with the trust the South Waikato News understands it has also been looking at other sites for its dairy plant. A property owner in Okoroire said they had been contacted about a possible dairy factory opposite their farm in Somerville Rd.
Mr Sinclair confirmed Okoroire was a possible site for Arapuni Milk.
He said if neighbours of the site gave their approval then several aspects of the resource consents for the factory could be carried over from Arapuni without the need for undertaking a new resource consent process.
Mr Sinclair said the Okoroire site could mean some of the approximately 70 employees at the factory may live out of the district in Matamata.
However keeping the dairy factory in the South Waikato would still provide economic benefits to the district he said.