MFL, which trades as Precision Foundry, employs at least 100 people and has been trading for more than 100 years.
The head of Challenge Partners, which owns the company, Paul Myers said shareholders have tried to keep the business afloat.
"Despite ongoing shareholder support, the business challenges facing MFL, particularly the continued high New Zealand dollar, lack of margin preventing re-investment in the aging plant, and then customer confidence being shaken by a ten-month period of reduced production... has meant that MFL has exhausted its financial reserves," he said in a text message to RNZ.
KordaMentha has been appointed as receiver.
The company made precision iron castings and alloy products, which were sold domestically and overseas. It used to fittings for engineering used to be known as Masport and made the well known lawn mower of the same name.
The E tū union said workers left to go on the Christmas break without being told anything.
"We are deeply appalled that the employer has done this, knowing full well this was coming and that their workers didn't know. Nor did the union," organiser Ron Angel said.
"We understood the company had some financial challenges, but this has come as a complete surprise.
"It's another example of a company which has been down-sizing over time and now it looks like the end has come.
That is always very hard news for those involved and especially just before Christmas," Mr Angel said.