Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Support the local rail workshops in NZ...

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 26:  A Kiwirail ...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeAnd just why does KiwiRail refuse to get big train building jobs done in its own workshops in NZ? Why do they emperil future jobs in NZ? Probably because the current National government told them so.

China's CNR Corp is to build 300 container flat-deck wagons to bolster Kiwirail's aging fleet. China undercut the NZ bid by 25% it is claimed. They will also provide 20 new locomotives for NZ as well.

There must be some way for the NZ workshops to become involved in the work for KiwiRail.

This narrow approach to purchasing puts hundreds of jobs at risk and threw the viability of KiwiRail workshops into doubt, according to the Council of Trade Unions.

We now have a State-owned rail operation again in New Zealand, with capable workshops and staff.

While  there needs to be the best possible value for money spent, the local industry needs to be supported or it will just end up as a run-down maintenance operation again. The two workshops in Lower Hutt and Dunedin employ 180 people each.

The Hutt workshops were also the right place to carry out another upcoming project - refurbishing the ageing Wellington electric commuter train carriages .

So support the local rail workshops in new Zealand.

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