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Jobs destroyed by indifferent Nats

Written By: - Date published: 12:17 pm, June 10th, 2011 - 36 comments
Categories: jobs, transport - Tags: , ,

Joyce was told that building the new train cars at the Kiwirail workshop in Dunedin would bring half a billion into the economy. Joyce insisted Kiwirail go with the ‘cheapest’ option. China. Now, another 40 jobs have been axed. Not to mention other economic losses. Joyce is unrepentant. Blind to the cost of ‘cheap’. Aussie’s do it smarter than Joyce.

36 comments on “Jobs destroyed by indifferent Nats”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    on the contrary, the NATs aren’t indifferent: when it was announced that Hillside was downsizing and many NZ workers losing their jobs, the NATs popped champagne corks and celebrated.

    Knifing the Railways union, their workers, adding to an already excess labour pool and putting the boot into the Labour stronghold of Dunedin South has been a project of theirs for the last 12 months, and now their efforts have been successful.

    Party on like its 1991.

  2. hobbit 2

    Never mind the fact that Wellington’s new EMU units were brought from Korea, a deal signed off under Labour. The units which they’re replacing come from England. The units which they will run along side were built in Hungary. The rest of the rail fleet was built in Australia, England, Japan and America. Since we stopped building steam locomotives in the 50’s, we’ve only ever built a small amount of low-powered shunting locomotives, many of which were imported as kit sets.

    We’ve never built an EMU unit before. We have, however, refurbished them, and locomotives. Something NZ does do well. Over 100 old BR cars refurbished here. During the early 80’s, a peak time for NZ RAIL, 80 locomotives were sent to Australia for rebuilding. NZ rebuilt just 5.

    The study by BERL economics was full of holes, even KiwiRail pointed out a handful of them, without digging deep at all. Holes that make a joke of their findings.

    Australia’s latest EMU fleet are being built in China.

    But don’t let any facts get in the way. Just don’t come crying when the IMF come knocking.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Two things:
      1.) It’s always better to make what we need here from our own resources. That way our society and the economy will develop and progress. It’s also cheaper in real terms than importing.
      2.) The IMF can go fuck itself. So can the WTO. It’s because of their policies that the world is going to hell (Climate Change, massive resource depletion causing mass famine and an over-populated world with mass poverty).

      The study by BERL economics was full of holes, even KiwiRail pointed out a handful of them, without digging deep at all.

      Well, if it was so full of holes you shouldn’t have trouble pointing any of them out.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        “1.) It’s always better to make what we need here from our own resources. That way our society and the economy will develop and progress. It’s also cheaper in real terms than importing.”
         
        That’s really not true. At all. If we have the capability and capacity to make something, and it doesn’t cost a huge amount extra, then we should.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          If something can be made then we have the capability and resources to make it and, as modern factories all tend towards being as efficient as each other, make it for the same cost. The added cost of transporting it is what makes it more expensive to import.

          • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1.1

            Lets see computer chips and computer memory made in New Zealand, then. We surely import lots of these to run everything in our country, so they’re a vital part of our modern life.
             
            Apparently the only requirement is that “something can be made” and therefore NZ will be able to more competitively supply the local market than anyone else.

            If you say that there isn’t anything stopping us from creating factories/plants to do this in NZ, then you’re broadly correct. Have fun investing a couple of billion (that’s what modern plants cost) into a plant without having any revenues to fund it, and when it’s complete in 3 or 4 years time you’ll just have to be content with producing 3 or 4 year old technology.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s this magical process called Research & Development – perhaps you’ve heard of it?

              Before Taiwan started making bleeding edge nano-chips they started with outdated tech and built up from there.

              And, yes, it does cost about US$1b to make a new factory that’s designed to pump out hundreds of millions of CPUs over it’s life time but I’m not talking about making one that big. I’m talking about one that supplies the NZ market only. As has been stated time and time again – we cannot go on with a BaU plan. It doesn’t work and we need to look at reducing resource use and one of the best ways to do that is to make products close to their markets with the local resources.

              • Lanthanide

                “I’m talking about one that supplies the NZ market only.”
                 
                I guess you’re not familiar with economies of scale, then. You’re trying to reproduce something *cheaper* than what we can import from overseas, right? Something that is just as good, if not better, and also cheaper?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Lanth you’re falling for several mistaken ideas.

                  Primarily that progress in the future is going to be like progress in the past.

                  At some stage, other parts of the world may be unable or unwilling to supply us with advanced technology components. We may be short of hard foreign currency, they may be short of production capacity.

                  Further more, the design and production of semiconductors and IC’s is not a mysterious process. NZ has and does do those things today, albeit on a very small scale.

                  And it does not necessarily need to be a very expensive endeavour – as long as you are willing to stay away from the latest bleeding edge process and design technology.

                  Second hand 130nm and 90nm node equipment for chip fabrication is extremely cheap, for instance. Design and manufacturing knowledge for those nodes is very well understood. A facility for designing and manufacturing chips at those nodes on a relatively small scale would cost less than US$100M to build: well within our financial capabilities.

                  Granted, any CPUs made on these processes would be far slower than Intel’s state of the art, but they would also get the job done just fine.

                  • Lanthanide

                    No, I’m not falling for anything. Once again Draco is simply making an extremely broad assertion that simply doesn’t mesh with reality.

                    Here’s what he said:

                    “It’s always better”

                    ‘Always’ means both now, and in the future. I guess it also means historically.

                    “It’s also cheaper in real terms than importing.”

                    It’s not cheaper in ‘real terms’ if the product you are producing is inferior and the cost of importing the superior product is very low. As it is at the moment. Even in a future of expensive transportation costs, computer chips are very small and light and could be shipped around the world using sails much more economically than building plants in each country that wanted them.

                    “Before Taiwan started making bleeding edge nano-chips they started with outdated tech and built up from there.”

                    Yes, and they started back in the 60’s and 70’s. In other words they’ve got a good half-century of expertise and capital advantage over us.

                    “as modern factories all tend towards being as efficient as each other, make it for the same cost”

                    That’s why America is so good at competing with the Chinese when it comes to mass produced items from factories, I guess.

                    “It doesn’t work and we need to look at reducing resource use and one of the best ways to do that is to make products close to their markets with the local resources.”

                    No, the best way to do that is to leverage off comparative advantage in each market and trade with each other. This has been going on since the ancient Egyptians and definitely before then. All we have in the modern world is much easier transportation than they used to have. Transportation is likely to become much costlier, but that doesn’t suddenly mean absolutely everything must be made locally because that’s the cheapest/best way to do it. More things, most probably (of the things that are still made – I don’t see a long-term future for plastic tat), but not everything as you’re attempting to suggest.

                    “At some stage, other parts of the world may be unable or unwilling to supply us with advanced technology components. We may be short of hard foreign currency, they may be short of production capacity.”

                    Probably in the future New Zealand will continue to have a surplus of food. Japan on the other hand has a deficit in food right now. Trade will exist in the future.

                    I also only picked on computer chips because it’s a commodity item that has high cost of entry and capital requirements, the type of which have be built up over decades in the countries that specialise in it. To suggest that it is *always* better to build stuff yourself, instead of focussing on what you’re good at and making a trade, is pretty evidently false with this example, I think. Given the incredibly usefulness of computers, I’m sure that they will be an industry that continues on for many decades yet – the technology might stagnate or certainly not improve as fast as it does currently, but they’ll still be made.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m familiar with the term but if two factories are working at the same efficiency then economies of scale don’t apply. A hundred years ago with far more manual labour involved it meant something but not any more. Producing locally becomes cheaper by removing the transport costs.

                      Always’ means both now, and in the future. I guess it also means historically.

                      In real terms, yes. Historically, we did produce a lot more here and society was possibly better because of it. The problem, as Marx predicted, is that we went into over production and had to extend our markets to maintain the profits for the capitalists (That’s why the pollies and economists keep going on about an export led recovery. To keep BaU going it needs forever bigger markets). We didn’t, and don’t, need to produce the maximum amount that we can. In fact, we should be minimising how much we produce so as to become sustainable. Increase productivity all you want, just don’t produce any more than what we need.

                      …much more economically than building plants in each country that wanted them.

                      You may not want to build a factory in France if there is one just across the border in Germany but you’d probably still want to build one in Russia. You build them in NZ for the NZ market because NZ happens to be a long way away from everywhere else.

                      Yes, and they started back in the 60′s and 70′s. In other words they’ve got a good half-century of expertise and capital advantage over us.

                      Yeah, so did we. Unfortunately the government pushed farming, and still does, rather than electronics. Rakon does manage to compete with the big guys though. Or, in other words, we have a base we can start with. We trade for what else we need until we have equivalent capability.

                      That’s why America is so good at competing with the Chinese when it comes to mass produced items from factories, I guess.

                      The US isn’t “competing” because the financial system prevents it not because it can’t. Same for us as well to a large extent.

                      No, the best way to do that is to leverage off comparative advantage in each market and trade with each other.

                      Comparative advantage is BS. Every society has the innate capability of providing for itself. You use trade, not to limit yourself, but to supply yourself with products you don’t make until such time as you can make them. Trade is something you minimise, not maximise.

                      Probably in the future New Zealand will continue to have a surplus of food.

                      Probably not actually. Climate Change will do nasty things to our growing climate and the lack of fossil fuels will seriously curtail our ability to farm the rest.

                      And then, after all these economics, I’m going to have to point out that you missed the important bit:

                      That way our society and the economy will develop and progress.

                      Our society doesn’t develop if we remain ignorant farmers out in the back of nowhere and it’s our society that is important. The economy is there to support it and the individuals that make it up not the other way around.

                      Oh, and when I say In real terms I’m talking about actual resources used and not monetary. The monetary economy is delusional.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        I would not advise holding your breath while waiting for hobbit to respond to that. He pops in here to do fire and forget troll comments occasionally.

        Doesn’t do it often enough for my moderation instincts to activate. But he never engages in a conversation – probably because he is more of a mindless parrot than anyone worth talking to.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Just don’t come crying when the IMF come knocking.

      What? NACT is focussing on keeping the IMF happy but keeping NZ workers out of jobs? Like Draco says, the IMF can go fuck itself.

      The countries who have done well for themselves are the ones who have defaulted on their loans and told the IMF where to go.

      I’m waiting for Greece and Spain to follow Iceland’s example and default.

      You gutless Right Wing bank panderer.

      The study by BERL economics was full of holes, even KiwiRail pointed out a handful of them, without digging deep at all. Holes that make a joke of their findings.

      Oh so you belong to the crowd which says that in order to save the NZ economy you have to destroy NZ jobs.

      How full of holes is your brain?

    • Blighty 2.3

      “Never mind the fact that Wellington’s new EMU units were brought from Korea, a deal signed off under Labour”

      ‘They did it too’ is no excuse. In fact, it suggests you know it is wrong but have no valid argument.

      “We’ve never built an EMU unit before.”

      I used to know this guy who was ambitious for New Zealand….

    • RedLogix 2.4

      Never mind the fact that Wellington’s new EMU units were brought from Korea, a deal signed off under Labour.

      Actually it was signed off by Greater Wellington Regional Council who are the owners of the new Matangi EMU units.

      At the time the railway system was still owned by Toll Holdings.

    • Luxated 2.5

      Australia’s latest EMU fleet are being built in China.

      Firstly Australia doesn’t buy trains, never have and quite possibly never will. Train purchases are made at a state level not a federal one. Leaving aside regional rail (not normally EMUs) here are five main centres I am aware of that run sizeable train networks: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

      Adelaide: Isn’t looking to purchase any new rolling stock AFAICT. All previous rolling stock seems to have been supplied by Commonwealth Engineering and its successors.

      Brisbane: New EMUs being produced by the DownerEDI plant in Maryborough. All recent trains in Brisbane have been built in the Marborough plant.

      Melbourne: The new X’trapolis trains are being built by Alstom in Ballarat, the previous train purchase was for the Siemens set which were built in Linz. It should be noted that all train purchases in Melbourne are made by the private operator and have been since 1999. It should also be noted that since 1999 M>Train have pulled out of operating their part of the network and Connex operated the entire network until 2009 when their contract was not renewed due to incompetence (Metro the new operates supposedly aren’t much better).

      Perth: The current fleet was built at Maryborough by DownerEDI/Bombardier.

      Sydney: The previous EMU set (Millenium, still in operation) were constructed by EDI Rail in Cardiff (NSW), the new Waratah sets are partially constructed in China and finished in EDI’s Cardiff plant. Note that the decision to purchase the Waratahs was made by a Labor state government who were just unceremoniously ejected from office for privatising part of the state electricity network (news is that the Liberals have already made themselves unpopular there).

      So to sum up. Most cities/states get their trains produced locally, only one train set is being even partially produced in China, the two sets that have been sourced even partially overseas have been purchased by a private company and a state government which just got thrown out for privatising assets (amongst other things).

      I’m also sure that the three quarters of Australians who don’t live in Sydney will be thrilled that hobbit thinks Sydney == Australia.

    • Jum 2.6

      Hobbit,
      Interesting – since we know Key worked for the IMF and you’re working for him is this a bit of insider trading info, Hobbit? Has Key screwed up NZ enough for IMF to fulfill their part of the bargain to come in and divvy up NZ for the Ayn’al’ Rands of the world like John Key and Roger Douglas?

  3. Chris 3

    Actually historically is was the anti-worker Unions that have created the conditions that have enabled NZ to be uncompetitive in the international workplace in the firsr place. So the answer according to some is to continue the same moronic left socialist mantra of more handouts and subsidies – the kind of ‘welfariesm’ that has got NZ in the crap in the first place.

    • Blighty 3.1

      explain how democratic and voluntary groups of workers are ‘anti-worker’ and present evidence that the union movement made New Zealand unproductive.

      You could start, perhaps with the Stats data that shows growth in labour productivity has slowed since the attacks on unions began in the 1980s and wages have failed to keep up with productivity since then.

      Or you could compare the strength of unions and labour laws in other countries and their wage levels against those in New Zealand. You could start with Australia where they have an awards system.

    • ianmac 3.2

      No Chris. It was not the anti-worker unions, it was the 3,427 occasions when National Party MPs blocked the development of research and development proposed by industry in the years from March 1991 to June 1999 and the 798 occasions 2008-2011 when the Key Government undermined the R&D and blocked the funding for investment. (You see anyone can make stuff up.)

    • The Voice of Reason 3.3

      You’re not wrong, Chris. The anti-worker union, the EMA, has a lot to answer for. And welfare payments to bludgers need to be stopped immediately. No more money for bankrupt businesses, failed get rich quick schemes or foreign companies with their hand out for a nice wee bribe.

    • Vicky32 3.4

      What’s an ‘anti-worker’ union? :D Do you even know what unions are?

      • Colonial Viper 3.4.1

        What’s an ‘anti-worker’ union?

        The EMA is an example. So is Federated Farmers.

        Chris above is full of shit however. He ignores the fact for instance that the top 100 NZ rich list is worth $40B between just them. That is more net wealth than the bottom 2 million NZ’ers own.

        This is a wealthy country, its simply that the wealth has been taken by the few and the powerful, and accumulated all for themselves.

        And what are they doing now, when they hold all the influence and all the money?

        Blaming the powerless peasants, of course.

  4. jackal 4

    The Wong’s had something to do with setting this up:

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/05/parliaments-wall-of-shame-2.html

    Ms Wong admitted she misused her taxpayer funded travel subsidy by paying for her husband Sammy Wong’s travel to China in late 2008 while he was conducting personal business. Pansy and Sammy Wong’s company Sampan was an agent for Massey, AUT and Lincoln, and the couple would often travel to China to promote this business.

    It was also revealed that a company called PPD engaged Sammy Wong in March 2005 to facilitate meetings with a Chinese business CNR, whose subsidiary Dalian Locomotives subsequently won a contract to supply 20 train locomotives to KiwiRail. There are also questions concerning the huge amounts of money raised by the Wong’s for the National Party which have gone unanswered.

  5. Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    This is just why we didn’t want you fuckers buying a useless railway. Last time we owned rail the government ran it like a social service instead of a business and the poor taxpayer had to pour millions into it every year to keep it afloat. And so it begins again.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Hey dickhead you forgot about the billions of tax payer dollars being poured into useless roads to keep the road transport association boys happy

      government ran it like a social service instead of a business and the poor taxpayer had to pour millions into it every year to keep it afloat.

      The poor tax payer? You are deluding yourself by speaking out against well paid, highly skilled, highly technical jobs for your friends, your relatives, your children. You think NZ is a better place for everyone when we strip ourselves of good jobs and engineering capabilities and instead support China’s good jobs and engineering capabilities with our tax dollars? You really are a deluded Right Wing dickhead.

      Rail jobs and public transport jobs which will be the backbone of this country in an oil depleted economy.

      Fuck the “poor tax payer” meme, do you think the “poor tax payer” does any better for themselves when the Government destroys their jobs and puts them on the dole queue?

      The real poor people are the New Zealanders this Government is putting out of work, and fuck you for thinking just of yourself, not them and their families.

      • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1

        Yeah, as I say, so it begins again. Next (because it is only fair) you will demand that Kiwirail pay above market rates to its workers. And that they work a 30 hour week but get paid for 40. And that the crockery gets made in New Lynn.

        And because of what this does to the cost, you will be forced to legislate to make it mandatory to use rail to transport your goods.

        And we will be right back to 1984 again.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          And because of what this does to the cost, you will be forced to legislate to make it mandatory to use rail to transport your goods.

          Don’t be moronic, within the next decade diesel will be nearing $10/L and it will do the job for us. No legislation needed.

          You’re a 1980’s idiot for still thinking that North Sea and Saudi oil is still flowing cheaper than water.

          Next (because it is only fair) you will demand that Kiwirail pay above market rates to its workers.

          “MARKET RATES”????

          What the fuck has the MARKET got to do with deciding how much a worker needs to earn to live on and feed their family?

          Fuck the market, time for all NZ workers to have a living wage.

          • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, and fuck gravity while you’re at it.

            • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re an idiot even for a human if you think that trading markets and printing money is akin to a fundamental force of the cosmos.

            • pollywog 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah, and fuck gravity while you’re at it.

              …sounds like a good slogan for the Martin Jetpack.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                I mean it’s not like the tax payer subsidies the road transport industry in any way shape or form.

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.2

            Whenever the market shows that workers are worth more the “free market advocates” want to screw with it by such “free market interventions” as removing individuals rights to withdraw their Labour, bringing in underpaid immigrants and expecting Government subsidies for living, training, health and education costs so they can pay workers below the costs of supply.

  6. HC 6

    Who needs a job? We just sell NZ to the Mainland Chinese state controlled corporations and make a deal that they will pay us a benefit until we die. Maybe that is what National is already aiming for, thinking that NZ is totally screwed and not worth saving anymore. I am sure that Hone Key and his consorts have got their retirement homes in Hawaii, the Gold Coast, the Bahamas or wherever else already bought or booked. So it will be no skin off their noses.

    So give everyone a benefit for the rest of their lives and let Mainland China take over and do as they please in future. Jenny Shipley is working for them, and who knows, there may already be others on their payroll as well.

    Good Night NZ!

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