The large aluminium plant at Tiwai Point will close in 2021.
Rio Tinto is the company that owns the plant and they announced the shutdown. The plant is Southland’s biggest employer, which contributes $400 million per year to the region’s economy.
The shock announcement has caused ripples throughout the community.
Around 1000 workers will be made redundant, but the Southland Chamber of Commerce is estimating up to 8000 people could be affected and leave the region.