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Waikanae locals urge Bunnings' bosses to reverse closure decision - 'It's appalling'

Waikanae locals are urging Bunnings to re-think its decision to close the local store just days after Christmas.

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Retail stores in Waikanae and Te Aroha will shut this Friday. Source: 1 NEWS

Staff at two provincial Bunnings' stores have been told just days before Christmas that they'll be without a job before the new year.

The stores in Waikanae and Te Aroha are being shut because the chain says they're struggling to deliver on the Bunnings promises, but those in the community are hoping they'll change their mind.

"Terrible - right on Christmas - it's appalling," a concerned Waikanae resident told 1 NEWS.

“They're not thinking about the Waikanae people - there are a lot of elderly people who garden but don't like driving on the motorway,” said another.

The employment of 46 staff members is up in the air, after the move which follows a review of smaller format Bunnings' stores.

Kāpiti Coast District Councillor, Rob McCann says it’s not on.

“When you pull out stores of smaller communities, and the Kapiti Coast is made up of small communities - this is really hard on people who live here.

"But it's the hardest on the people who work here to find out just days before Christmas that they're losing their jobs - that's not how anyone should behave," he told 1 NEWS.

FIRST Union’s Richie Morris says detail around the announcement has been lacking.

“They've given some minimal information about what lies behind the closures but it's nothing to explain why it has to happen so quickly,” he said.

While the stores close on Friday, Bunnings says it will keep staff on until after the new year to sort the sites out and work with the team on options, including, if suitable - roles in other stores.