Fonterra to close Paraparaumu cheese factory, 70 jobs to go

Fonterra is to close its Te Roto cheese plant on the Kāpiti Coast as it moves to consolidate its specialty cheese-making facilities.

The dairy giant made the announcement on Thursday, after posting a loss of $605 million for the financial year ending July 2019.

It also announced a new strategy, operating model and changes to its management team as it tries to reduce debt and turnaround its financial position.

Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan said Fonterra's decision to close its Te Roto factory was a blow for the region, but said Kāpiti's local economy was strong and growing and could absorb the loss.

"Fonterra has advised that 34 new roles will be created at its Eltham plant in Taranaki and it will be supporting staff to explore other opportunities at its sites," said Gurunathan.

Gurunathan said he spoke to Fonterra about working together to explore options for ensuring that the Kāpiti Coast continued to benefit from the brand that borrowed its name and inspiration from the region.

"Yes, Fonterra's exit is a blow for us, but we have never been in a better position to absorb change."

Fonterra said no other closures were being considered at this stage.