Benefits of Investing in Kawerau Confirmed

Date published: October 15, 2013 at 11:22 am | Comments

An analysis undertaken by the Crown Research Institute SCION to compare investment returns from wood processing based in Kawerau with those from other parts of New Zealand show Kawerau offers significant benefits in comparison to other wood processing centres.

These benefits are gained by locational, logistics and resource synergies and are measured by improved financial performance of businesses, better regional/national GDP impacts, employment resourcing opportunities and more effective use of co-located resources such as geothermal energy.

“The results of this study give us objective data to back up what we have known for a long time – that Kawerau has the potential to significantly increase its contribution to NZ Inc” said Su Cammell, Project Manager, ISKawerau.   “We look forward to being a part of a development programme that will provide big gains for both Kawerau and the wider region.”

From this analysis, locating wood processing in Kawerau has advantages on a Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) basis across a range of wood processing technologies.   The size of this advantage varied with the type of process and the significance of process heat demand to its operation.

It was estimated that new wood processing operations (based on a exemplar cluster of sawn lumber, engineered wood products and biofuels on a scale that fitted within the anticipated wood supply) could provide over 344 permanent direct jobs and a further 670 indirect jobs.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell acknowledged that increased employment would have a big impact on the social issues of the township.   “We know jobs work” Mayor Campbell said “Our residents want to see their children stay in the area but at the same time have the opportunity to be engaged in productive work.”

The exemplar cluster of new operations would also add a further $282m to the region’s GDP which is approximately a 25% increase on the Eastern BOP 2013 levels.

Seeds of the study were planted back in 2010 when NZTE funded a project to develop a case for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into renewable energy projects and energy intensive businesses in the Kawerau region via an industrial development model.   Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau leverages the region’s existing natural assets and industrial base to foster sustainable economic growth for Kawerau. NZTE remains supportive of the project and will follow any commercial developments closely.

A complete copy of the study and further information on Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau can be found on

Source: Kawerau District Council