Christchurch jet propulsion manufacturer asking for “voluntary redundancies”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 10, 2023 |

Screen shot from video


Employees at Hamilton Jet have been advised to brace for potential job reductions.

However, a public relations firm representing the company said there have been no mandatory redundancies to date.

A senior staff member told Chris Lynch Media on Thursday “our company is going to lay off people soon, it’s so frustrating.”

Another upset staff member confirmed the news.

On Thursday, a New Zealand Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union spokesman said at least 60 workers were being made redundant – including 45 on the shop-floor, and 15 administration staff.

The spokesman said that was the number provided to him directly from a worker at the company.

“It doesn’t make sense to me as the company has outgrown its current premises and was constructing a new building” the spokesman said.

Hamilton Jet was made aware of Chris Lynch Media’s request for comment on Thursday afternoon, but didn’t respond.

However, in a statement released through a public relations company on Friday afternoon, Hamilton Jet said “the statement that “at least 60 workers were being made redundant – including 45 on the shopfloor, and 15 administration staff” is factually incorrect.  No such announcement has been made and both our Unions are fully aware of this.  This was reconfirmed this morning.


Screen shot from video

Managing Director, Ben Reed said in the statement “HamiltonJet, world leader in marine waterjet propulsion have been exceptionally busy over the last two years. 

“The vast majority of product has been exported internationally for decades, and post-COVID spending around the globe saw an unprecedented demand for building of government funded Coast Guard, Navy and other private commercial vessels.

“However, activity is now reducing and orders are slowing from previous all-time highs.

“An unfortunate side effect of the pandemic was that the closed-borders and low unemployment rates last year left HamiltonJet having to recruit permanent employees, rather than the normal use of temporary labour to ride out a surge in demand such as this. 

“As a result, the more recent slowing of orders has caused management to consider staffing levels in the business.  There have not been any mandatory redundancies to date, and HamiltonJet are working all options including voluntary redundancies before taking any further action.  

We are highly confident in the future of the business.  The post-COVID world gifted us with both an unprecedented boom in orders, plus plenty of challenges.  We will be doing everything we can to manage through this situation with the minimum impact on our team” Reed said. 

The company employees over 440 workers world wide, with a global network of three regional offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas and 55 distributor partners, making it the largest water jet propulsion manufacturer in the world.

It follows news of proposed job cuts at Christchurch-based manufacturer Skellerup.

It’s understood the proposal could impact at least 30 staff at Skellerup’s purpose-built manufacturing and office facilities in Wigram.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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