I thought the Nats were meant to be good with money. You know, they’re all ex-currency traders and Treasury officials, and one of the reasons people went over to National at the last election was the promise that National would deliver a ‘brighter future’ via a better economy (and tax cuts!).
But how economically illiterate do they have to be to send the NIWA research vessel Tangaroa to Singapore for a $20 million refit when VT Fitzroy at Devonport was ready and willing to do the work here?
Wayne Mapp’s excuse is that the Singaporean bid was several million lower than the VT Fitzroy bid.
Oh dear. Did the Nats really only consider the headline figure on the bids?
What about the corporate tax, GST, and income tax that would have flowed to the government if it had kept the work in New Zealand? What about the lower benefit payments by creating more work here?
And that’s just the first round of gains for the government. Then, you’ve got the multiplier effect of the workers spending their wages and creating more jobs for taxpaying workers.
The fiscal result for the government alone would surely be much better if they had kept the work in New Zealand. And that’s before we consider the wider gains for the country’s economy and society of keeping the work here.
On top of all that, the reality is that when you contract overseas you often get less reliable service. Just ask the Safe Air workers. They had been due to undertake refurbishment of the Air Force’s Hercules aircraft but the aircraft are stuck in upgrade work in Canada after the foreign contractor announced an indefinite suspension to the work in December. Result: 100 jobs lost in New Zealand.
But it looks like these supposed financial wizzs didn’t even consider any of that.