Tasman Mill

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Coordinates: 38°04′26″S 176°43′12″E / 38.074°S 176.720°E / -38.074; 176.720 The Tasman Mill site is a pulp and paper mill located on Fletcher Avenue just outside the town of Kawerau in New Zealand. The Tasman Mill site is the largest single employer in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region. Three pulp or paper companies operate in Kawerau. Within the original Tasman Mill site are Norske Skog who operate the mechanical pulp mill and paper mill, and Carter Holt Harvey who operate the kraft pulp mill. The third, but physically separate mill on Fletcher Avenue is SCA who manufacture tissue and base paper. A sawmill is located to the north of the main Tasman Mill site and is also operated by Carter Holt Harvey. The mills contribute in excess of $1billion to the New Zealand economy per annum.[1] The Tasman Pulp and Paper Mill has been discharging waste into the Tarawera River since 1955.[2] In 2009, the mill gained permission to continue discharging into the river for the next 25 years.[3]


In 1952 the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company established a mill to process timber from maturing stands of Radiata Pine in the state-owned Kaingaroa Forest. The site was chosen because of the ready availability of geothermal steam as a power source. Pulping operations were underway by 1955.[4]

In the 1970s a number of expansion projects took place within the mill which in turn lead to a significant increase in employees. More recently, introduction of new technology, coupled with the decline of the timber industry from 1980 onwards, has resulted in a decline in the mill's workforce.[5] The 2,000 strong workforce of the mid-1980s had dropped to 1,200 by 1998.[6]

The accessibility of geothermal energy recently saw the construction of an on-site 100-megawatt Geothermal power station. The plant provides cost certainty to industry operating within the mill, the second largest industrial power user in the country.[1]


Currently Carter Holt Harvey processes approximately 1.25 million cubic metres of wood annually, converting it into specialty bleached and unbleached pulp for use in the manufacture of paper, tissue and building products.[7] Forty percent is subsequently sold to customers in New Zealand, primarily Norske Skog.[8]

Today Norske Skog Tasman supplies all of New Zealand's newsprint and telephone directory requirements and also provides around thirty percent of Australia's newsprint requirements. Norske Skog Tasman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Norske Skogindustrier ASA, a Norwegian pulp and paper company based in Oslo. The corporation is the world's largest producer of newsprint magazine paper.

Annual paper production by Norske Skog Tasman is now 300,000 tonnes from the company's two paper machines.[9] A third paper machine was recently closed in an attempt to remain competitive in the overseas market. SCA also purchases pulp from Carter Holt Harvey for manufacture of base paper for their brands Purex and Libra, among others.

The balance of production from both Norske Skog and Carter Holt Harvey is exported throughout Asia and Oceania earning export income of $224 million.[9]

In August 2012, Norske Skog announced that it intended to cut production in the face of declining global and regional demand for newsprint. The company stated that it was currently exporting two thirds of its annual production to Asia, but that low newsprint prices, unfavourable exchange rates and oversupply to the Asian region has made this market unprofitable. [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Kawerau community website". E-c.co.nz. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  2. ^ "Iwi not giving up fight against Tasman mill discharges". Radio New Zealand. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Mill gets 25-year pollution consent - Business - NZ Herald News". Nzherald.co.nz. 2009-10-16. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  4. ^ Wright, Matthew (1999). Working together - The history of Carter Oji Kokusaku Pan Pacific Ltd 1971-1993. p. 6. ISBN 0-473-05378-0. 
  5. ^ McKinnon, Malcolm (19 April 2010). d "10. Kawerau district - Bay of Plenty places". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 October 2012. The decline of the timber industry since the 1980s has seen the population decrease from a peak of 8,593 in 1981 to 6,921 in 2006 
  6. ^ Resource Community Formation & Change: A Case Study of Kawerau Wayne McClintock, Taylor Baines & Associates
  7. ^ http://www.transfieldservices.com/page/Media_Centre/News/2009/Transfield_Services_wins_five-year_contract_with__Carter_Holt_Harvey_in_New_Zealand
  8. ^ Carter Holt Harvey Tasman page[dead link]
  9. ^ a b Pankhurst, Tim (25 July 2009). "A crop of paper". [dead link]
  10. ^ "Paper mill cuts threat for power industry". NZ Herald. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012. 

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