Pipe com­pany brings 30 jobs to Levin

The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE - SHAUN EADE

A new pipe man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany could bring up to 30 jobs to Levin.

Frank PKS New Zealand, which has pre­vi­ously only been based in Christchurch, is set­ting up its first North Is­land man­u­fac­tur­ing base in the town.

The com­pany, which em­ploys 56 staff, op­er­ate three plas­tic pipe man­u­fac­tur­ing ma­chines six days a week, make man­holes and other pre­fab­ri­cated struc­tures from the same ma­te­rial.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cholas Browne said the busi­ness’ Levin base would ini­tially serve as a stor­age yard.

‘‘We’ve bought a site in Ha­maria Rd and for the first 15 months we’ll use it as a base to store prod­ucts for our North Is­land cus­tomers,’’ he said.

‘‘Then we’ll build a new plant and in­stall a pipe ma­chine.’’

Once the pipe ma­chine was in­stalled, they would start look­ing for staff.

‘‘I’m look­ing for a part-timer at present but once the build is com­plete in 2019 we’ll need eight peo­ple per shift so 28-30 peo­ple all up.’’

Their de­ci­sion to set up a north­ern base came af­ter se­cur­ing a job in Hawke’s Bay.

‘‘A few years ago we worked for a client in Have­lock North and had to truck every­thing to them from the South Is­land. Since then our work in the North Is­land has grown strongly,’’ he said. ‘‘It makes fi­nan­cial sense to be based here. We could have gone to Auck­land but we chose this end of the is­land be­cause it’s more cost­ef­fi­cient. Freight-wise every­thing is com­ing down from Auck­land so it’s cheaper and eas­ier to get goods up the other way.

‘‘It means we re­duce our en­vi­ron­men­tal foot­print as well. We al­ready re­cy­cle all pipes that aren’t up to scratch and all our pipes are re­cy­clable, even af­ter years of ser­vice in the ground.’’

Horowhenua Dis­trict Coun­cil eco­nomic devel­op­ment man­ager Shanon Grainger has been work­ing with the busi­ness for nearly two years and said it was pleas­ing to be in­volved in help­ing a new com­pany set up.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Frank PKS New Zealand chief ex­ec­u­tive Ni­cholas Browne and Horowhenua Dis­trict Coun­cil eco­nomic devel­op­ment man­ager Shanon Grainger check out the com­pany’s new Levin base.

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