Back Kiwi workers – build the trains at home!

You might have heard of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union’s campaign to have the rolling stock of trains built in New Zealand.
KiwiRail needs to spend $500 million on new trains for Auckland.  The expertise and equipment needed to undertake this work exists in New Zealand rail workshops in Dunedin and Lower Hutt. New Zealand is competitive internationally in this work. NZ rail workers are skilled, experienced, and want to do this work.
And the economic case backs us up. Economics consultancy BERL has estimated that building these trains at home would add between 770 to 1270 additional jobs and $232 to $250 million to GDP. So from both a job creation point of view, and wider benefits to the New Zealand economy, there is a strong case to build these trains in New Zealand.
This week, KiwiRail announced that it would not bid for the work, a move the union has described as defeatism at worst. RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson said “It seems there are only two people in New Zealand who think that the Hillside and Woburn workshops can’t build these trains – Jim Quinn and Steven Joyce.  Everyone else believes that the work should stay in New Zealand.” The union is now calling on the Prime Minister to consider the national interest in this decision and take all steps possible to ensure this work is done locally.

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