According to reports, the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter will continue to produce the valuable light metals even as the rest of the country shuts down for at least four weeks.

The decision to keep the smelter running came just a week before the deadline for Tiwai's owners, multinational mining company Rio Tinto, to announce the results of a strategic review of the plant. If the review concludes with a decision to close the plant, more than a thousand people could lose their jobs.