McDonalds reached a milestone this week when it opened its 150th restaurant in New Zealand, the first of 10 new restaurants to be opened in 2010.

Richmond, Nelson, has got the 150th restaurant as part of McDonald’s three-year $100 million capital investment programme into the New Zealand market, announced in 2009.

It will take the total to 32 restaurants in the South Island with 118 in the North Island. Last year the fast food chain also opened 10 restaurants, while upgrading a further 33 of its existing restaurants, providing employment to about 1000 people. And construction has already started on restaurants in Mt Maunganui and Constellation Drive on Auckland’s North Shore.

McDonald’s managing director Mark Hawthorne said the 2010 restaurant openings would provide hundreds of full-time and part-time jobs.

He said McDonalds is already one of the largest employers in New Zealand with over 9000 employees and the Richmond restaurant will immediately create 60 jobs.

He also touted the benefits McDonalds brings to the wider economy, spending $145 million with local suppliers last year, a $25 million increase from the year before.

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