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

New trains should be built in New Zealand workshops

Kiwirail should produce the new electric trains promised to Auckland in New Zealand workshops.

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.