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Dunedin public meeting tomorrow

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, June 21st, 2011 - 63 comments
Categories: Economy, employment - Tags: , ,

I remember a certain PM who used to claim to be “ambitious for New Zealand”. In the real world, it seems that was all just talk. Because given the choice between investing in New Zealand industry and workers, and perhaps (in the short term) saving a few bucks, Key’s government decided to put the money in to China.

It’s about KiwiRail, and the new railcars for Auckland. Dunedin’s Hillside Railway Workshops were in effect told that it wasn’t worth their while even tendering for the contract. As Marty G put it at the time: “National and Kiwirail CEO, Jim Quinn, have displayed a pitiful lack of belief in the ability of New Zealand and the kind of knuckle-dragging narrow-mindedness that has been holding this country back ever since the neoliberal revolution”. Sums it up.

Up to forty job cuts have already been announced. Labour’s Dunedin North candidate David Clark speaks out:

Workers are convinced that the 40 job-cuts already announced are just the beginning. The Government seems determined to shut Hillside down. … If Hillside is shut down, it will affect hundreds of Dunedin families. Not just the workers at Hillside, but also at the firms that sub-contract to them. And the decision is a crazy one. …

I don’t blame KiwiRail. I blame the Government. The National Government is the owner of KiwiRail and a major source of its funds. As an owner, they can instruct KiwiRail to consider whole-of-economy benefits when making decisions. Instead, the Government is saying: “take the cheapest price”.

This one is personal for me. We’re good friends with a young family. He works at Hillside – works his guts out with all the hours that he can. Big mortgage. Young kid. And this huge cloud hanging over all of them. Will he have a job next year? Does Hillside have a future? It’s torture.

Hillside is fighting back. Check out their blog. And come along to the public meeting, Wednesday 22 June, 7.00 p.m.. Cargill Enterprises Hall 199 Hillside Road (opposite Hillside Workshops). See the poster on the blog. Get there if you can.

63 comments on “Dunedin public meeting tomorrow”

  1. higherstandard 1

    Seems odd to me that Hillside is laying off so many people with the largest building boom in recent times about to come to Christchurch.

    Are they a ‘super specialised’ manufacturer ?

    • r0b 1.1

      As per post it’s called “Hillside Railway Workshops”.  Does that give you a clue?

      • higherstandard 1.1.1

        Best they diversify quick fast then.

        “Hillside, Est. 1875, is an engineering & manufacturing division of KiwiRail Limited, operating from a landmark site in Dunedin, New Zealand.

        While Hillside primarily provides services to the rail industry, it also provides general fabrication & manufacturing services for other industries, such as mining, smelter and forrestry.”

        http://www.hillsidenz.com/index.php?page=history

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          Not sure what your point is HS, they specialise in rail, but as you list they have other skills.  They employ 170 engineers, and who knows how many other staff.  40 of those jobs are at risk because there isn’t enough work in rail.

          If they can find some way to support Chch reconstruction well and good, but the fact is that a big rail contract that could have come to Hillside is instead going to China.   It’s short term, narrow thinking by the Nats.

          • higherstandard 1.1.1.1.1

            No it’s a business decision taken by Kiwirail.

            It went to tender and a Chinese manufacturer won the tender – the question that needs to be asked and be given a detailed answer is what was the difference between the Chinese bid and the Hillside bid if the difference is only marginal you’d have to agree that it should have been given to the local company.

            It is interesting to note Hillsides history over the years.

            • r0b 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The Hillside bid was 25% over the winning Chinese bid. But counting that as the only factor is very short sighted. Hillside workers say that Chinese stock is low quality and needs frequent repair (at their workshops). Factor in putting up to 40 more people on the dole, and the consequent loss to contractors and the rest of the Dunedin Economy. The alternative was to invest in New Zealand. Create jobs instead of destroying them. Take people off the dole and get them paying taxes instead of receiving a benefit. See my post yesterday on squeezing the life out of the economy…

              • Bazar

                “Take people off the dole and get them paying taxes instead of receiving a benefit.”
                The additional $7.25 million hillside wanted is no small change, even when spread over 40 people.

                They didn’t even land in 2nd place, they were 3rd out of 8th place. So there were either serious issues and/or vastly better alterntives.

                Also while i’m here, we’ll ask viper what he thinks of this

                Viper:
                “No, let the business fail.
                Enough corporate welfare.”

                Interesting, looks like people have split opinons on what this business should have done.

                • rosy

                  “Take people off the dole and get them paying taxes instead of receiving a benefit.”

                  Instead 40 engineers and probably more from sub-contractors will go on the dole (if they don’t move to Australia) and with the upcoming policies of this government will have to work for it (not that I object in principle to working for the dole). But wait – it won’t be work in their skill-set but maybe cutting scrub? collecting litter? What else could the new ‘underclass’ members expect? /sarc

                  Ambitious for NZ again.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.2

              No it’s a business decision taken by Kiwirail.

              That’s destructive of the local community but that’s true of all neo-liberal decisions.

              BTW, the BERL report estimated that the tenders would have to 1/3rd the price of the Kiwirail tender to come even close to matching the wider economic benefits of making them here.

          • Bo Duke 1.1.1.1.2

            I think rail is a waste of money rob, we can’t build trains cheaper than China. Air NZ has gone offshore for maintaining and engineering its planes for long time. We don’t build planes here. We don’t build cars, but I remember back when MMC used to reassemble cars imported to NZ in parts after they had been disassembled in Japan just so they could be sold as NZ assembled cars. It was a false economy then and it’s a false economy now.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Bo Duke wants us to be a nation serving coffees and vacuuming offices for $13/hr.

              Oh yeah, and exporting all our industrial capabilities to China to give them both money and jobs.

              It was a false economy then and it’s a false economy now.

              The question is Bo, who’s economy and who’s people are you advocating for here?

              Why do you see us giving China both our money and our jobs as being ‘real economy’?

              Who are you working for?

              • Colonial Viper

                I think rail is a waste of money rob, we can’t build trains cheaper than China.

                you’re not looking at Total Cost of Ownership, nor at the economic multiplier effects of keepoing jobs and engineering capability in NZ.

                Who are you really woking on behalf of?

                • Bazar

                  I thought you were opposed to corporate welfare viper, you made that clear in your previous posting.
                  http://thestandard.org.nz/nats-to-slash-wages/#comment-342223

                  Really, i’m waiting for a responce on this.
                  How can you be opposed to the government subsidizing a company when they do, and when they don’t its suddenly: “Your not thinking of the economic multiplier effects”

                  That seems pretty two faced to me

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Bazar, don’t you recognise the difference between:

                    – propping up private foreign shareholders (say the Chinese rail company) with tax payer money, and

                    – supporting the development of strategic NZ engineering capabilities and NZ jobs in a firm which NZ owns itself (KiwiRail’s Hillside workshops).

                    Basically you and your righty mates lack sound economic judgement (although your economic judgement is fine from the standpoint of the Chinese).

                    Go away.

                    • Bazar

                      Draco T Bastard: “So you support taxpayers subsidising failed businesses?”

                      Bazar: “I’d rather subside a failing business that keeps people employed, then subsidizing all the people involved with the unemployment benifit; That is as long as the costs/benfit is sufficently high.”

                      Viper: “No, let the business fail. Enough corporate welfare.”

                      —–

                      And so you claim the reason you opinion is different now isn’t because of red ink, but because the funds would be going overseas, or because it’s in the rail industry?

                      Let’s start with the fact that NZ has no strategic investment in rail carriages. We simply have that small industry and any related.
                      It’s not dairy industry, it’s not the logging industry, it’s not the movie industry, it’s not the kiwifruit industry, it’s not the wine industry, it’s not NZ air, and it’s not Kiwirail

                      The only capability NZ and Kiwirail are losing is the ability to create carriages, and we can’t even do that cost effectively in our own country, we landed 3rd out of 8.

                      I can’t even fathom what’s so strategic about it, we don’t need carriages to survive, and if for some reason there was some sort of international trade embargo, we could start up our own production again. It’s not a rare earth mine or irreplaceable daily service like NZ Air.

                      And if we can’t compete locally, we stand little chance internationally. What happens once the contract for all 300 carriages completes. It’s not very strategic when the industry dies out 8 years later of natural causes.

                      As for the government buying from overseas, that’s the wrong way to look at it. The fact is most of the money would be going overseas for parts anyway.

                      The real issue was if it was worth the government paying more money to keep a local company afloat and keep people employed and productive.
                      It’s the same issue as the government giving welfare to keep a local company and the people it employs afloat and productive.

                      “Basically you and your righty mates lack sound economic judgement”

                      That’ll mean something when it comes from someone who has independent thought, or even a thought process for that matter.

                    • Swampy

                      The case for buying this business (Kiwirail) didn’t stack up economically.

            • r0b 1.1.1.1.2.2

              I think rail is a waste of money rob,

              I think rail (and light rail) is the transport of the future, and we’d better start gearing up for it now.

              we can’t build trains cheaper than China.

              If you take a very narrow view of costs and benefits perhaps. And who’s to say what we can accomplish given the chance? Ambitious for New Zealand – remember?

              • infused

                I think they did do a cost/benefits hence why they lost it overseas.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I guess they did do a cost/benefit analysis infused.

                  The benefits go to the Chinese, the cost goes to the people in Dunedin.

                  • You know what gets me is that these people don’t think it through. We’ll they say they should have been cheaper and compete with the Chinese. It is just what our elite wants. Empty cities, hungry people, poverty and slavish obedience. No worker ever got what he/she needed by bending over and waiting to be kicked.
                    More for them and less for us is what they want.

                    Here is George Carlin saying it beautifully. The American (and New Zealand dream) dream? They call it that for a reason. You have to be asleep to believe in it.
                     
                     

                  • Swampy

                    There is a benefit from saving money on the purchase, that benefit comes back for all of NZ, not 40 people at Kiwirail.

            • Jim Nald 1.1.1.1.2.3

              Spot the “can’t do” attitude!

              It’s like a disease that has infected the nation.

              We can’t do this, we can’t do that,
              This is beyond our control, that is beyond our control

              What’s next?
              We can’t win the RWC??!
              (Oops, there’s a recent poll ..)

              So what can we do?
              So what is within our control?
              Pray for rain and watch more grass grow for cows?
              Or get a one-way ticket to Australia for our workers?

    • Your joking right? Nobody is going to be building in Christchurch any time soon. All big talk and no action. The next earthquake is just around the corner and it will take many years before anybody in their right mind will want to invest in that city.

      How do I know? In Europe and Asia there are plenty of ruined cities were people lived and thrived until the big one struck. They are all left as people started afresh somewhere else away from the pain and the grief.
      Other than farming with Duneding being clobbered and Christchurch destroyed the South Island will be emptying out. Oh oops, great for the mining companies digging up the mountain tops as we are forced to sell our resources to John Key’s mates.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Someone quick check there isn’t oil under Christchurch, there’s got to be a reason that Brownlee wants the city to empty out.

      • Swampy 1.2.2

        Talking nonsense. There’s already plenty of building going on in Chch. All you have to do is build the right way so that it doesn’t fall over.

    • burt 1.3

      hs

      I think you have hit the nail on the head really. It’s a highly unionised work place and they make trains….. they can’t make bulldozers, trucks, cranes etc… just trains – and very expensive ones.

      I can’t think for a moment why they didn’t get recent contracts.

    • Swampy 1.4

      No. They haven’t made locomotives for about 50 years.

  2. randal 2

    there is no rhyme or reason to the governments machinations. everything they do is ad hoc and designed to cream as much cash as possible off the nut and the rest can go hang.

  3. Peter 3

    If you read Gareth Morgan in todays Herald you get an idea of what we are up against when it comes to trying to hold on to manufacturing jobs http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10733427

    My interpretation is that as long as the currency floats and commodities are in demand forget trying to manufacture in competition with China and Asia. He does appear to be presenting printing money to bring down the exchange rate and using it for investment not consumption as a possibility. The interpretation of others will be interesting.

    What he is certainly saying is that China’s export winning ways involve centralised control and manipulation of the currency. What chance for NZ?

    • YG Huang 3.1

      Tianchao Daguo – The Celestial Kingdom – was raped and plundered by the Western Imperial powers and Japan.

      They have learnt their lessons well and are playing the neoliberal game to their advantage and increasingly tilting it towards their own terms.

      Perhaps the Kiwi that is simple, naive, almost blind, nearing extinction and flightless, might start to learn from the ascendant Chinese Dragon?

  4. Jim Nald 4

    “Ambitious for New Zealand” ?

    Sometimes you’ve gotta wonder, with his poor diction, if he was misreported/misheard and actually said he is “rapacious for New Zealand”.

  5. TO understand why this is happening we should really have look into John Key’s and other politicians blind trusts. Chinese factories are not all Chinese owned. They too sell shares and need to find “financing”.

    John Key’s wealth is tied up in Bank of America and quit possibly other banking institutions through his blind trust and that alone makes him quit possibly the most compromised PM this country has ever seen.
    The banking system is collapsing and in order to save his and his banking mates hides he needs to, just like in Europe, bankrupt as many as possible local industries so him and his mates can come in and buy NZ’s resources for pennies on the dollar.

    Here is a video of Max Keiser and Alex Jones in which he tells how in the hotel next door assholes like the Forbes heir are licking their chops over all the Greek resources they can buy for their useless soon to be worthless dollars. That is how these scumbags operate and that is why Dunedin needs to loose it’s industry.
    Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

    No ideology just predatory scumbaggery.
    At least in Greece they are now going after the big boys they are actually going to take Paulson, Geitner and the whole corrupt lot court and whether they actaully appear is neither here nor there because like in Zwitserland the Bilderberg group had to end and vamoesh because they wanted to arrest Kissinger and Bush could not go there becasue they wanted his ass in jail the same will go for Greece and Spain and France were they actually do something against these criminals such as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1

      St Elmo’s Sire (1985)

      Kevin: You know Jules, there is the brink of insanity and then there is the abyss, which obviously you have fallen into!

      • travellerev 6.1.1

        St Elmo’s FIRE, that would have been FIRE.

        You know I sincerely hope that there will be a day where I will be happily locked up tranquillised to the gills and thinking happy thoughts all day long. Maybe do some therapeutic water colour painting perhaps.

        That would have to be at the time though when laws of nature could be broken at whim by us mere mortals and John Key really is a saint and not a scumbag and while were at it a time when war really is started to help the local population to gain freedom against the forces of darkness instead of another destructive event killing of thousands if not millions of innocent people.

        Until that time I’m afraid dumbo’s and ignorami like you will try to score points of me while really just being so stupid as to make me wonder if you share your one braincell with at least 15 other people.

        But I keep hoping, I keep hoping….

        • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1.1.1

          The only possible explanation for the contract being awarded to the Chinese is that John Key has an interest in the contractor? Really, Ev? Even by your standards, this is quite startling.

          Do you not consider it may be possible that the contract was awarded to the Chinese contractor because, you know, they promised to do it at the cheapest price?

          Nah. That couldn’t be it. That’s just crazy.

          • travellerev 6.1.1.1.1

            No OB,

            That would be libellous. because that would be directly accusing him of fraud. (Little fraud but fraud never the less)
            What I’m saying is that John Key said he had come back to New Zealand to do the right thing for New Zealanders.

            The problem I’m saying he has is that his wealth is tied up mostly in Bank shares and bonds. The banking system is collapsing and the only way he and his banking mates can stay rich is if they can get rid of all that worthless crap they’ve got in their portfolios and bank accounts and in order to make him and his mates really rich they have to get their hands on real wealth i.e. natural resources and real assets such as power plants, airports etc.

            The only way they can do that is by bankrupting the local populations so they can force them to sell their real resources and assets. (Big scam)

            So to do the right thing for New Zealanders would be to keep projects such as making the trains here and keep real wealth and labour in this country.

            The right thing for him and his scumbag mates is to bankrupt NZ as a country so they give the jobs to factories in countries were they use slave labour and brutal suppression (China is also collapsing by the way). That way they get the product for their soon to be privatised again train tracks and trains cheap and they get to bankrupt the local population so they can force them to sell of their real world wealth for crap toilet paper with $ printed on it for better still some digital 1 and 0’s.

            SO if you want to know why John Key and this government act they way they do and on whose side they are that is your answer. They don’t care about you. they want more for themselves and less for you.
            Now be a good boy and click on the links I gave you a little earlier and hear what Max Keiser has to say about it and how his former rich pals are wetting themselves in the hotel next door talking with the Greeks on how to give them the islands, airports harbours and other real assets for pennies on the dollar.

          • the pink postman 6.1.1.1.2

            What ever do you mean Olbarrell, by doing it at the cheapest price. Do you mean cutting costs , inferior material ,metal ect. Do you mean using unskilled workers and near slave labour. Do you mean that after a year or two maybe soon the bloody things will fall apart,just like the other crap we are saddled with from China.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.3

            Do you not consider it may be possible that the contract was awarded to the Chinese contractor because, you know, they promised to do it at the cheapest price?

            Only a dick would think that “cheapest price” was the same thing as “cheapest total cost of ownership”.

            So are you a dick, Ole?

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.1.3.1

              And only the delusional would think that cheapest price was the same as best deal. The BERL report made it quite clear – the best deal was having the trains made here.

  6. ECOGIRL 7

    This is not just about Hillside.
    It is about Kiwi Rail as a whole.
    With the idea to mothball several lines including The Auckland to Northland Line, this is a full on assult on Rail transportation in New Zealand.
    It reeks of Steven Joyce, the tarmac junkie, with roads my way or no way.
    Also note Kiwi Rail is not owned by the Government. It is a State Owned Asset. It is ownd by all of us and therefore we all ought to have our say if Hillside stays or goes. As we all should have a say in contracting contracts to China or South Korea for OUR rolling stock.
    This is the same arguments as selling a percentage of OUR Energy Companies.
    I back announcement yesterday by Labour to have 75% agreement in Parliament as to the sale of OUR assets which OUR predecessors built for us.
    Selling, lay offs, contracting off shore are all betrayals.
    Go to http://www.saveourrailnorthland.org.nz
    Facebook: Save The Northland to Auckland Rail LIne

  7. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8

    It is ownd [sic] by all of us and therefore we all ought to have our say if Hillside stays or goes.

    Maybe you could, I don’t know, catch a train once in a while. Then, if all the other people who claimed rail must be saved (while at the same time insisting that it buys its inputs in the most expensive way possible) did the same, it’d probably help the thing being quite such an enormous waste of money.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Shit dude have you tried the standing room only trains between Welly and Masterton in the last year? Don’t keep your eyes closed mate.

      (while at the same time insisting that it buys its inputs in the most expensive way possible)

      You don’t believe that sacking NZ workers and putting families on to the unemployment queue is “expensive”?

      You live in a fucked up neoliberal world my friend. Actually it seems that we all do.

  8. ECOGIRL 9

    How interesting Oleolebiscuitbarrell.

    Do not forget to consider heavy haulage, wear and torn raods, accidents-yes logging trucks topple over everyday, being past peak oil-prices of fossil fuels are only going to increase, carbon emissions, opportunities for tourism on rail, job creation, service improvements, cycling ways beside rail-corridor is wide enough, build rolling stock in NZ as govt gets GST, PAYE, tax from profit, increased employment means more people are spending, which in turn generates more employment etc etc and so forth.

    NOT A WASTE OF MONEY!!

    Head back in biscuit barrell.

  9. tombstone 10

    I agree with the mayor of Dunedin when he asks ‘who’s economy are we helping to build here? China’s or our own?’ – I’m sick to death of politicians and corporates selling us out to China because every time they do it’s Kiwi’s who lose their jobs. It’s Kiwis who end up having to sign on the dole and who end up having to struggle to make ends meet while Key and his like continue to ram home this bullshit notion that selling out to the Asian market is some how good for us. No it’s not! It’s good for the guys making all the money at the top, the corporations and wealthy investors by exploiting cheap Chinese labour but for the average Kiwi it’s disastrous. There was a time when we used to produce things and guess what? People had jobs. If you didn’t like your job you could walk out and straight into another. Work was abundant. Then gradually over time we stop producing more and more and instead started farming that work out to China and all the while would you believe it? More and more people were being laid off because they were no longer needed. It’s one thing to tell people to get off their arses and work it’s another to do what’s required to ensure that they have jobs to go to and National have done nothing but the complete opposite. The trains were a prime example of this and I wish those poor buggers in Dunedin all the best. Once again highly valued jobs have been sold out to the Chinese and that angers me to no end and so it should every other Kiwi. What a disgrace. Fight back!

    • Swampy 10.1

      It is very simple. To be able to sell our stuff to overseas markets we have free trade agreements. That means we have to buy stuff off overseas markets and can’t protect local manufacturers.

      When we had full employment was when we had a guaranteed ironclad market for our produce with none of these inconvenient strings attached. When that market collapsed Muldoon spent nine years trying to pretend we could keep going on borrowed money.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Swampy, if free trade is so simple how is it all these free trade agreements can’t fit on to 2 sides of an A4 page?

        Why do they take thousands of pages of detailed exceptions, rules, loopholes, exemptions and differing treatment? This isn’t free trade, this is corporations and money men setting up complex rules to suit themselves.

        RWNJ’s don’t get that “Free Trade” is the name of a game that other countries play hard ball in and that NZ in its naivete is losing.

        China has bumped up dairy tariffs against us several times since signing on to “Free Trade” because it is willing to act in their own country’s interests. Unlike the National Government.

  10. Pascal's bookie 11

    Here’s a couple of interesting wee tidbits by way of the good people at newshoggers;

    item : manufacturer of ice cream sticks re-relocates from China to Ontario. Labour’s still cheaper in China to be sure, even for the makers of ice cream sticks, but the savings made don’t make up for the energy insecurity. Also, and too.

    item : speaking of insecurity.

    • Jim Nald 11.1

      Cheers.

      Re the second link, this stood out (and I thought Nats had, in 2008, campaigned on investing in infrastructure … oh, that was half the story – not NZ’s infrastructure, but China’s):

      “.. Even if wages in China explode, some multinationals will find it hard to bring many jobs back to America, argues Mr Pisano. In some areas, such as consumer electronics, America no longer has the necessary supplier base or infrastructure. Firms did not realise when they shifted operations to low-wage countries that some moves ‘would be almost irreversible’ ..”

      Dear Hillside, Dunedin and the South Island
      Thanks to the National Government, get ready to wave and kiss goodbye to your workers, skills, experience and infrastructure
      R.I.P.

  11. Wayne 12

    It’s Kiwis who end up having to sign on the dole and who end up having to struggle to make ends meet while Key and his like continue to ram home this bullshit notion that selling out to the Asian market is some how good for u

    Oh, tombstone, you basically talk shit.

    New Zealand’s unemployment rate is hardly at a historical high (that was in the early 90s when it was well over 10%), and furthermore 6.6% unemployment is nowhere near as bad as the United States and many European countries (over 20% in Spain, 15% in Greece and Ireland, 10% in France). In fact without the Asian market and Asian trade, both New Zealand and Australia would be down the tubes. Australia’s economy floats on Chinese demand for raw materials to fuel China’s industrialisation.

    So you really think, tombstone that cutting out the Asian market, cutting out China, Japan, (2nd and 4th) largest trading partners respectively, cutting out the other growing Asian economies would actually improve New Zealand’s economy?

    You are absolutely deluded.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      And Wayne you are a fucking economic traitor.

      Plus you are absolutely deluded for thinking we are better off exporting our tax money and our jobs and our industry to China.

      Those countries in Asia you speak so fondly of, they are laughing at us for exporting our industry and our jobs to them. These are countries run by Asian governments who prize industry and technology for their own labour forces, and who support their own country’s industry and technology to the nth degree. They get how important that is economically Wayne, unlike you and your National money masters, you miserable running dog.

      China and Japan can’t produce milk and wool like we can, we have something that they can’t make well (or at all) in their homelands.

      In contrast, we make fucking better rolling stock than China.

  12. Wayne 13

    Those countries in Asia you speak so fondly of, they are laughing at us for exporting our industry and our jobs to them.

    How many jobs exactly? Come on. Front up with a few facts. The thing is unemployment now is still less than it was in the early 90s, well before there was major trade with China.

    New Zealand is hooked into the rising Asian economies like it or not. Even just trading with Australia that is indirectly the case, since Australia is propped up by Chinese demand for her raw materials.

    In contrast, we make fucking better rolling stock than China.

    How do you fucking know Mr Engineer? Where do you come up with that from? Obviously the customer will decide that. In the final analysis quality relates to price as well.

    you are a fucking economic traitor.

    Well lets see how many jobs will be lost when we follow Mr Tombstone’s advice and cut economic relations with Asia. Then see who the economic traitor is you dumb fuck.

    The fact is New Zealand’s unemployment rate was at a record low of 3.4% right before the big meltdown in 2008 – caused by American corporate corruption. Not through trade with Asia you nincompoop

    Now you provide some figures to back up your point about this purported huge net loss of manufacturing jobs to Asia. Otherwise shut the fuck up.

  13. Jim Nald 14

    Kinda related to this and I hope there will be a post on TS …..

    I hear there will be a protest rally & march in Dunedin that will meet at 12:30pm, Octagon, tomorrow (Saturday 25th) – re ‘Same Work Same Pay, No Youth Rates!’

    I believe this is combined with ‘Save Hillside!’

    All the very best, Dunedin.

    Solidarity with the workers. Particularly vital especially with opinions and attitudes like Alasdair Thompson’s that are around.

    • Jum 14.1

      Too far for me to be there but all the best Dunedin.

      Perhaps everyone who can’t be there can have their blog name put on a board to be carried in the march; then we can all be there with you and be counted.

      I cannot believe Joyce can keep a straight face talking about commercial returns from an asset we own that he is refusing to support on our behalf. National is our agent; why isn’t he working on our behalf to give our asset better support and the people bidding to operate or build that asset jobs.

      He is deliberately stopping Kiwirail from behaving as a New Zealand asset with its coaches built here in bad times, giving our unemployed workers jobs. He is deliberately derailing the future growth of a New Zealand owned asset. Rail is a New Zealand good. One of the basic uses of a New Zealand owned asset is to provide a safe employment base for our workers in times of recession and high unemployment. Foreign and private owners have no loyalty. Governments hellbent on giving our assets and dividend income to private shareholders also have no loyalty to Kiwis. In Otahuhu the railway workshops trained apprentices until National closed it down in 1992/3 and it became a ghosttown for jobs. Now Joyce is doing the same in Dunedin. New Zealand assets can still be run efficiently and issue dividends to the people of New Zealand through hospitals, schools, defence, etc. Get rid of the assets and all the egalitarian parts of New Zealand will be destroyed and the special flavour and philosophy of New Zealand gone.

      Questions, because I don’t trust Quinn and Joyce:
      1. When did the foreign tenders come in?
      2. When did the Kiwirail tender go in? Like Annette King I believed Quinn had decided not to let Kiwirail bid.
      3. Did Kiwirail management or Joyce know what other tenders were before they tendered the Kiwirail bid?
      4. What happened to that early bid that the engineers? had prepared which was just as competitive as China but Quinn refused it?

      Labour must stop this criminal behaviour by NActMU against New Zealanders by regaining Government on 26 November.

      • Swampy 14.1.1

        Why did the Labour government allow the Matangi units to be built overseas.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          More relevant, why is National allowing these units to be built in China now? A Labour Govt would put in place local purchasing policies which would be an advantage to all NZ engineering firms.

        • Jum 14.1.1.2

          Swampy

          You must have been swallowing too much liquid ooze from the Black Lagoon.

          Different world between when Labour organised for the other units to be built overseas and when NAct shafted Kiwi workers. Labour obviously also believed it would be back in this term to complete its science and technology rollout but people had got a little relaxed about the good that Labour was doing for them and thought that ‘nice’ Mr Key would carry on the good work Labour was doing – because that’s what he said. He even pretended he had mistakenly said he was leader of the labour party at a press conference; that WAS cunning of him wasn’t it. Anyone who has read Hollow Men would have known that. He lied then, and he’s still lying.

          Only a NActor could not see the difference between then and now with the financial meltdown, that global NActor types instigated and gained from financially at the expense of everyone else. Labour would not have turned its back on its workers in these times. What a shame workers didn’t keep faith with Labour. Maybe they’ll have learned before 26 November that NAct will always shaft them in favour of money and more money for its mates.

          Key’s been bought and sold and is now delivering to everyone but the people of New Zealand who aren’t in tax havens or divided global trusts. Lord Ashcroft, Key’s pre-election adviser doesn’t or didn’t pay tax. I can’t even believe Key has only 50 million dollars. But 50 million dollars sounds just enough to spin his success but not too much that people will start to wonder where he got it. Like I said – cunning.

          And the creep Joyce continues to tell us that Kiwirail is a commercial entity and cannot be helped – what an idiot that man is (or a very clever one, manipulating the public to think he gives a damn about wanting rail to be successful in New Zealand as a New Zealand-owned public good).

          Do you understand what a public good is Swampy?

          A public good is an instrument that helps all New Zealanders to be able to enjoy a lifestyle that gives them some independence and the knowledge with which to enjoy it to the full, plus the health that allows that. Public transport/Free Hospitals/Free Education – all on the block with this government.

          With this government it’s public loss and private wealth.

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    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    2 days ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    3 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    5 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    7 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    7 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    7 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago

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