web analytics

Choices, choices: Hillside & National’s priorities

Written By: - Date published: 8:50 pm, April 19th, 2012 - 25 comments
Categories: Economy, infrastructure, jobs, privatisation - Tags: ,

When it comes to doing dirty deals with a casino, selling our law so that it gets a convention centre and more profits from gambling addicts, National’s willing to die in a ditch. But when there was an opportunity to save and expand our high-tech, high-skill manufacturing at Hillside simply by requiring government bodies to consider the costs and benefits of their actions on the whole country, not their narrow corporate interests, National did nothing.

Now, Hillside is going to be privatised, and likely shrunk further or even closed, because National let the major rolling stock contracts go overseas. They did nothing while a state-owned company made New Zealand poorer and increased our current account deficit because it was good for Kiwirail’s individual bottom line.

Two things I’m looking really forward to from the Labour-Green government in 2014/15 – the reversal of whatever legislative favours National is about to give SkyCity (fuck the shareholders, give the leeches notice now) and a modern procurement policy that requires government bodies to account for the whole of economy/society and whole of environment impacts of their purchasing decisions. (not to mention an awards system, capital gains tax, extended paid parental leave, proper apprenticeship support, modern monetary policy, a full ETS/carbon tax, more modern state houses, pollution charging, Kiwis crewing Kiwi fishing vessels, no more asset sales, money to needed, sustainable transport rather than the RoNS ….)

25 comments on “Choices, choices: Hillside & National’s priorities ”

  1. Hilary 1

    Rumours around Wellington are that the new overseas built trains were a bit shoddy on arrival and had to be fixed up by locals for local conditions to make them fit for purpose. So getting them built overseas was false economy.

    • Shane Gallagher 1.1

      My friends at Hillside have confirmed that – there were all sorts of problems with the braking system and the wheels and the welding – technical stuff I didn’t quite get the gist of but the kind of mistakes that the trains built at Hillside and Wellington don’t have.

      It is not just Hillside – there are a lot of smaller businesses that rely on sub-contracts to survive. Dunedin could lose a huge amount of its engineering industry because of this. South Dunedin is already deprived enough as it is.

      • NickS 1.1.1

        This.

        The problem with giving the tender to the cheapest bider is that you can end up with a shoddy result, which in the long term will cost you more than one of the more expensive options. Especially if the contract doesn’t make the expectations crystal clear, or the company issuing the tender doesn’t care about the long term costs.

    • Roy 1.2

      Other things I’ve heard: The Matangi units actually seat fewer people than the old units, and they are very noisy, so that people living near the lines are complaining.

  2. DH 2

    It’s a very good argument James. Why did the Nats get so keen on a convention centre when they cast Hillside adrift costing loads of jobs and millions of dollars. Key could just as easily have negotiated the Kiwirail deals for locomotives & rolling stock and & he wouldn’t even have had to change any laws to do it. They’ve had numerous other chances to create jobs and they refused, their talk about the Convention Centre being about jobs & tourist dollars is just a big fat lie.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Why did the Nats get so keen on a convention centre when they cast Hillside adrift costing loads of jobs and millions of dollars.

      Oh, that’s easy. Gambling is a cheap and easy way for the capitalists to fleece the people – all they have to do is hire someone on minimum wage to plug in the machines. Actually producing stuff is expensive, risky and if it’s government owned the capitalists don’t get to keep the profits.

  3. millsy 3

    Putting aside for one moment the question of sourcing rolling stock, it has to be said that every railway operator, private or public has a certain amount of in-house heavy engineering expertise. If KiwiRail sells off the Hillside Workshops, it loses that expertise, and has to stand in line to expensively purchase them from an outside provider.

    KR is making a huge mistake here.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      “and has to stand in line to expensively purchase them from an outside provider.”

      Who can easily charge 10% more as a baseline because they know the customer’s options are limited.

  4. Nick 4

    Good point, for some reason I hadn’t connected SkyCity and Hillside despite hearing about both on the news today. Its not that difficult to consider wider economic benefits than a simple cost / benefit analysis but you need to let go of pet ideologies, something National and probably Key in particular find it hard to do because they have so much wealth invested in maintaining their world view.

    I really want to see Kiwis crewing Kiwi fishing vessels – the current situation is so many levels of wrong its disgusting, is this on any party’s radar in terms of specific policy?

    Research Tax credits, what’s the current state of that? A high value, high wage economy for a small country like ours is going to come from innovation an being world leaders in things like green technology or other intenationally desirable, future proof and high-tech industries. Being Australia’s sweatshop is easier for the government to manage (keep running the economy into the ground and we’ll become more and more attractive to outsource to) but its hardly a plan to be proud of is it?

  5. bad12 5

    We can definitely see the need for research and development in Green technology,half the homes in New Zealand,(probably more than), could with some ‘smart thinking’ be pumping electricity INTO the national grid on a daily basis as well as providing the in home hot water for most of us by building a standardized solar panel system and the industry to manufacture such…

  6. Apart from the usual political negative reactions the Hillside sale announcement has been looked at as a positive opportunity by most in Dunedin, including the union.

    RMTU general secretary Wayne Butson:

    If we can get someone who can bring in existing contracts, a workload, innovation, a bit of money and some determination, I have no doubt whatsoever that Hillside will survive.

    Past Labour and current National governments have tended to let the regions diminish. So it’s up to regions like Dunedin to turn national neglect into local opportunity.

    Could a move to private ownership make a Hillside sale an opportunity?

    • RedLogix 6.1

      If KiwiRail won’t give them business then they have to find a completely new field to compete in. Of course that’s a huge ask but in the meantime no-one really wants to talk their chances down.

      But the truth is … this govt has scrapped them… choosing to give NZ taxpayer money to Chinese companies than New Zealand ones.

      • vto 6.1.1

        “choosing to give NZ taxpayer money to Chinese companies than New Zealand ones.”

        Note quite mr logix,.. choosing to pay sweatshop wages to Chinese workers than decent wages to New Zealanders.

        That is the reality.

    • Galeandra 6.2

      ‘survive’ = ‘opportunity’?

      Real little booster you are, PG. Still, soooo many votes…………

  7. Janice 7

    Has Hillside been deliberately run down so it can be sold to a selected overseas buyer (we are being softened up for this already) who has had their eye on it for a while and wants to buy it cheaply and exploit the workforce?

    • This looks like a repat of Curran’s conspiracy theory.

      Perhaps rail is struggling to make money in New Zealand and efficiencies have to be made to try and help it survive. Most of Dunedin looks at what can be done to rescue the workshops, while Clare thinks a protest campaign might work. Where is she going to protest – overseas?

    • Te Reo Putake 7.2

      Well, it’d make a lousy casino, so possibly not! But there is no doubt that there is no one in NZ who would need a facility like Hillside, so an overseas buyer would have to be found.
       
      The cherry on the top is limited ongoing work with Kiwirail, so it would probably need to be a player in the heavy engineering market with expertise in delivery and repair of rail stock. There are plenty of those about, but whether NZ would be an attractive place for them to move to is the big question, because the rail work needs to be backed up with other engineering work. Finding the latter is the tricky part of the equation.

  8. RedLogix 8

    Or KiwiRail could have simply given it’s own business to it’s own workshops. How hard was that PG?

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Another “we had to destroy the village in order to save it” scenario. Work has dropped off apparently for Hillside, well thats what happens when you bloody contract out a large order (for rolling stock) that this facility was set up to produce.

    • marsman 9.1

      Jim Quinn, Kiwirail CEO was appointed in March 2009 by Shonkey’s lot no doubt to sneakily re-privatise Kiwirail and or sabotage it ( Gisborne- Napier line ).

    • David H 10.1

      So apart from Cunliffe who has said anything about this???? Ahhh no one as usual. Nice to see the Labour party has now positioned it’s self as the say nothing, do nothing Party, since Shearer came to power. So he has said he was not going to play Gotcha Politics. It would be nice if he could play anything politics. But no it’s loser politics as usual. So the way I see it, is at the Next election it will be The Greens and NZF to run the opposition, and Labour will be the 5 seat fill in.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Joint Statement: New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers
    Hon Damien O'Connor MP, New Zealand Minister for Trade and Export Growth, and Hon Dan Tehan MP, Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, met virtually on Monday 20 September to advance trans-Tasman cooperation under the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (CER). CER is one of the most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Prime Minister’s Post Cabinet Press Conference/COVID-19 Update opening statement
    ***Please check against delivery***   E te tī, e te tā, nau mai rā [To all, I bid you welcome]   As you will have seen earlier, today there are 22 new community cases to report; three of which are in Whakatiwai in the Hauraki area, and the remainder in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Major milestones for Māori COVID-19 vaccine rollout as new campaign launches
    Whānau Ora and Associate Health (Māori Health) Minister Peeni Henare acknowledges two major milestones in the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Māori. “I am very pleased to announce more than 50 percent of eligible Māori have received their first dose and 25 per cent are now fully vaccinated,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
    A key recommendation of an independent panel to make electricity charges fairer across all households will be put in place, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. “Phasing out the regulations on ‘low-use’ electricity plans will create a fairer playing field for all New Zealanders and encourage a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago