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Wood manufacturer breathes life into local community

23 August 2018

Kaingaroa Village rests in the heart of the Kaingaroa Forest just South of Rotorua in New Zealand’s central North Island. Once a thriving forestry town of almost 4000, changes to ownership of cutting rights from NZ Forest service to Tasman Forestry and other corporate investors, along with the advent of heavily mechanised harvesting methods in the 1980’s saw local employment opportunities all but disappear from the town.

Villager numbers dwindled to a now 400 permanent residents and many forestry houses have become derelict, all but one shop remains at the local town centre.

However, in recent years there has been a resurgence in the local community’s fortunes with the establishment of timber remanufacturing operation, KLC back in 1997. Founded by Managing Director Kevin Lewis the plant was created on what had many years earlier been the NZ Forest Headquarters mobile plant workshop site.

Old rundown buildings on the vacant site (adjacent to the town) have since been built over, or integrated into a state of the art remanufacturing facility, now employing 100 people. Most employees are locals from Kaingaroa or nearby Murupara, another small forestry town equally affected by the changes to the forest industry back in the 80’s.

KLC have become specialists in the manufacture of value added radiata construction materials for domestic and export markets (in particular weatherboard claddings and fence systems) all treated to either H3.2 or H4 levels using MicroPro treatment technology.

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