Otago Daily Times

Call for Tiwai decision

Canings, a drunk teacher frothing at the mouth and illicit smoking were among the memories which came flooding back as a group of Gore High School pupils visited their old school buildings one last time. Former pupils Wattie Gee, Ron Hargest, Dorothy Dodd


Southland: Southland mayoral forum chairman, Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks is urging the Government and Rio Tinto to come to an arrangemen­t in relation to the future of Tiwai.

Mr Hicks spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson this week to stress the urgency of a deal on the smelter by December for an extended life for the smelter.

Mr Robertson told Mr Hicks he had instructed his officials to make it a key priority.

‘‘I was told the Government is committed to supporting the Southland economy and its people to create new jobs and industries, ’’ Mr Hicks said.

Rio Tinto announced in July it would close the plant near Bluff in August 2021 after it conducted a strategic review which showed the business was ‘‘no longer viable given high energy costs and a challengin­g outlook for the aluminium industry’’.

Rio Tinto has said the deal needed to be done by Christmas to prevent closure.

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