Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says international tendering cannot be justified when Kiwirail’s own workshops could do the work.
Kiwirail’s Lower Hutt workshop in Wellington and Hillside workshop in South Dunedin both have the skills and the capacity to build the trains, she says.
“There is a responsibility for the Government to ensure that this work is carried out by New Zealand industry,” says Ms Murray, who stood for the Alliance in the Dunedin South electorate in 2008.
She says in South Dunedin, Hillside was a major employer, and the development of skills and infrastructure through doing this work would provide a major boost for the local economy and employment.
“The new trains are being paid for by New Zealand taxpayers. The Government has a duty to ensure that if at all possible the work stays in New Zealand and is used to provide jobs for New Zealanders both in the workshops and the wider community where the workers wages will be spent.”
Ms Murray says this is especially important when we are still in an economic recession with tens of thousands of New Zealanders out of work.
She says it is important New Zealand has the ability to carry out industrial and manufacturing work of this kind to build an advanced, modern economy with high waged and skilled jobs.