Icepak expands at Waharoa

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Tamahere resident Philip Hanrahan witnessed last year’s fatal fire at Icepak Coolstores and now he’s helping Icepak move out of the neighbourhood, reports the Waikato Times.

Mr Hanrahan and former Tamahere resident Eric Clark have teamed up with two Icepak directors to buy a coolstore at Waharoa, near Matamata. The pair, together with Wayne Grattan and Jan Van Eden, formed Waharoa Properties Ltd which paid $8.45 million for Fonterra’s coolstore next to Icepak’s existing coolstore at Waharoa.

Icepak's present Waharoa coolstore
Icepak's present Waharoa coolstore

Mr Hanrahan, a director and chief executive of several Hamilton businesses, has lived at Tamahere for about five years. His daughter attends Tamahere School. “So I was as keen as anyone to see them relocate from Tamahere,” he said, and he happened to be in a position, financially, to help Icepak move, reports the paper.

“So I thought to play a part and assist Icepak in purchasing this coolstore from Fonterra and moving them out of the Tamahere area was both a good business decision and a good decision for the community.”

Mr Clark is a friend and business associate of Mr Van Eden.

Icepak has been running a skeleton operation at Tamahere since the explosion on April 5 last year killed Hamilton fireman Derek Lovell and injured seven of his colleagues. A multitude of investigations, including by the Labour Department and NZ Fire Service, followed. A date is yet to be set for an inquest into Mr Lovell’s death.

In a deal with Waikato District Council Icepak agreed to leave Tamahere by June next year.

Tamahere resident and Tamahere Community Committee chairman Dallas Fisher was pleased to hear Icepak had a new site. “I guess it’s them honouring the deal.

“I hadn’t heard (about the purchase) but if that’s what’s happening that’s great … ”

Icepak’s directors Grattan, Van Eden and Iain Slight have each pleaded not guilty to a charge of breaching health and safety regulations. However, Icepak Coolstores Ltd earlier admitted three charges. Mr Grattan was critical of the Labour Department’s “drawn-out” investigation.

He said Icepak still had customers in the Hamilton area and was looking for a site for a coolstore in the city.

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