A bid to save part of Dunedin's Cadbury factory has been launched today, with the public being called on to help back the initiative.
Dunedin city councillor Jim O'Malley is the architect behind the bid and he's trying to raise $20 million to stop the factory closing for good.
People are being asked to indicate on the website ownthefactory that if the venture gets to the money raising phase how much people would be willing to invest.
Mr O'Malley is working as a private citizen. The bid is not linked to the city council.
Manufacturing is due to finish at the Cadbury factory in March next year.
Mr O'Malley is hoping if they can indicate they can raise $5 million of the $20 million required to buy the machines and refit out a portion of the Cadbury factory, Mondalez (owners
of Cadbury) will allow them some extra time to find the remainder.
Mr O'Malley told 1 NEWS: "What we get out of it is that the key personnel, the key people who really make the chocolate in the city - we'd be able to keep them and keep them employed and hopefully hire relatively quickly some of the others back in".
If successful, the factory would make Pineapple Lumps, Jaffas and Chocolate Fish.
The factory would kick into gear in August next year and eventually employ 69 people over three years.
For more than 80 years, the Dunedin factory has produced Cadbury products for consumers in New Zealand and Australia.
Cadbury's Dunedin factory processes more than 30 tonnes of liquid chocolate a day and employs just under 300 full time staff and around 100 seasonal workers.