Picking Winners is For Losers

There has been very little constructive debate on the value to New Zealanders of the government’s $40 million odd dollar contribution to the recent America’s Cup campaign and plans to sink more money into the next challenge. The argument that the jobs created during the building of the yachts and flow on economic benefits far exceeded the government’s contribution seems to have been taken at face value.

The Alliance Party concedes that boat building on this scale creates well paid skilled jobs. We would like to see more of this type of work for New Zealanders. But that does not necessarily mean the government money was well spent. Continue reading

Kiwi Made Means Nothing to KiwiRail

“Kiwi made” obviously means nothing to KiwiRail. The State Owned Enterprise’s latest tendering decision is to outsource the manufacture of its railway couplers, used to connect rolling stock.  This will see the Dunedin workers who formerly made them reduced to a four day working week and facing a tenuous future.

The Alliance Party believes local procurement is essential for any government service or local body to provide employment and training opportunities and to ensure money spent goes back to local communities. Continue reading

A Solid Look at SOEs

Solid Energy is going down the gurgler, NZ Post is trying to get out of delivering mail, KiwiRail is closing railway lines and ordering all its new stock from offshore, and Mighty River Power is throwing money at exploration work in Chile – $250 million to date and growing – desperate to find a viable geothermal field to exploit Chileans facing power price hikes because of drought conditions.

What do all these entities have in common?  They’re all State Owned Enterprises working against the best interests of New Zealand. Continue reading

Not too late to save Hillside if the political will is there

The Alliance Party is appalled but unsurprised at KiwiRail’s announcement that they are to close Dunedin’s Hillside Workshops, making 90 workers redundant.

“We don’t accept this decision,” says Alliance Party co leader and former South Dunedin candidate Kay Murray.

Ms Murray says the Government must intervene right now to demand that KiwiRail keep Hillside workshop open and build their rolling stock there.

She says it is not too late to save Hillside if the political will is there. Continue reading

KiwiRail is not just a Business it is an Essential Public Service

It is time to accept that rail is an essential public service, necessary to build communities and facilitate industries. Rail is there to serve the public good. It will never be a cash cow, according to Alliance co-leader Kay Murray. Ms Murray says “What KiwiRail needs to be is a high quality accessible rail network that moves both people and freight safely and efficiently.” Continue reading