Kiwi Rail Workers

‘KiwiRail trains should be built by Kiwi workers.’ says Turei

The Government needs to assist KiwiRail to bid successfully for the contract to build Auckland’s electric train units in order to future proof our economy, says Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

A BERL report released today showed that a successful KiwiRail tender for the train units would create hundreds of new jobs and add substantially to the country’s GDP, she says.

Specifically, the report outlines

–     $232-$250 million would be added to gross domestic product

–     Crown revenue could rise by a net $65-$70 million

–     New Zealand’s trade balance would benefit by $114-$122 million.

“KiwiRail needs to secure the tender if we want to gain the economic opportunities of upgrading our rail infrastructure,” said Mrs Turei.

“The lukewarm response to BERL’s report from KiwiRail’s CEO Jim Quinn and Transport Minister Stephen Joyce is deeply disappointing,” says Ms Turei.

“If the Key Government and KiwiRail are committed to a market approach and a level playing field then KiwiRail should allow its own business to tender for the work.

“The Minister claims the work can’t be done here, but he’s wrong and should support New Zealand business to tender on an equal footing.

“New Zealand workers are more than capable of undertaking this build.  Taxpayers money should be spent wisely supporting New Zealand workers and keeping our skilled people here.

“Mr Joyce is not ambitious for a manufacturing industry based here in New Zealand. He shows an amazing lack of faith in New Zealanders and their ability to manufacture world class engineering goods.

“Has he forgotten that it was New Zealand engineers that built products like the Hamilton Jet, KZ7, and Wellington’s trolley bus fleet?

“We can’t hinge all our bets on dairying and agriculture exports – especially when the Key Government seems happy to allow our dairy industry to be flogged off to overseas investors,” Mrs Turei said.

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