The Waitaki Development Board in New Zealand has come out in support of a proposed cement plant at Weston, citing the economic benefits. Chief executive Mark Jurisich said the "silent majority" might not think about Holcim (New Zealand) Ltd the way the plant’s opposition group, the Waiareka Valley Preservation Society, did.
"They may think a little more practically about who will buy their businesses, who will buy their homes, who will look after them when they are old," he said.
The population of Oamaru had steadily declined for 26 years and permanent arrivals were needed.
"We need working individuals and families to move into the Waitaki to ensure the personal economic wellbeing of the majority of people who live here right now. Our teenagers are apparently all leaving town."
The proposed plant provided an opportunity, not just in the short-term of two years during construction, but in the long-term while it was in operation.
The 120 permanent jobs, along with 180 indirect jobs, meant more working people and families would move into the district. They would buy houses, businesses products and services, he said.