Oamaru has lost out on 50 new jobs which could have
potentially reduced the number of people on the dole in the
town by 18%.
Pulse Business Solutions, which is owned by Tauranga-based
Key Research Group and employs 80 people in its Oamaru call
centre, last week announced plans to recruit 50 new staff
members over the next year for a second call centre in
Although Ministry of Social Development figures for the
quarter ended September 30, 2012 show that 282 people were
receiving the unemployment benefit and actively seeking
full-time work in Oamaru, Key Research Group managing
director Michael Hooker said Tauranga was chosen because it
was clear the new positions could not be filled by Oamaru
"We explored expanding the call centre operation in Oamaru
and essentially we are constrained to grow the business to
the level we want by the labour force which is available in
"The volume of people that we could attract was quite a
constraining factor when we are looking to double the size of
our call-centre operations. It was apparent that we would
struggle to get the numbers that we wanted.
"We have our Key Research headquarters at Mount Maunganui so
it made sense for us to expand the call centre business in
Mr Hooker said the Oamaru and Tauranga call centres would
work together, which would allow consistency of projects, and
it would be "business as usual" as far as the Oamaru
operation was concerned.
Waitaki Mayor Alex Familton said he was "disappointed but not
surprised" with the company's decision to expand into the
North Island rather than Oamaru.
"We would have liked to have seen them expand here and they
are always welcome of course, but we are very happy with the
base they have established here. Tauranga is actually their
home base, but they know they are very welcome here."
However, Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said the company did not
think hard enough about increasing its Oamaru staff numbers.
"There are plenty of people, not only in Oamaru but also in
the surrounding small townships, who would welcome the
opportunity to work for Pulse Business Solutions.
"I'm very disappointed that they perhaps didn't look a little