Key passes the buck on Hillside
Tue, 04 Dec 2012 5:23a.m.
The Government leaned on KiwiRail to stop it closing the Hillside workshops but the company couldn't find a way to keep them open, Prime Minister John Key says.
KiwiRail confirmed on Monday it was axing 90 jobs at the Dunedin workshops with redundancies beginning on January 31.
There will be 18 jobs for Hillside workers at the foundry, which has been sold to an Australian company, and seven others are being kept on to run the heavy lift crane.
Unions have attacked the Government for the state-owned company's decision but Mr Key says it was made by KiwiRail's board and management.
"In defence of the Government, when the board informed us of the likely intention to close Hillside we pushed back reasonably strongly and asked them to fully examine their decision," he said.
"KiwiRail's perspective was it wasn't viable to keep Hillside going... the only way we could have overridden that decision was to financially compensate the company and we just don't want to act in that way."
Rail and Maritime Union general secretary Wayne Butson says the workshops are being closed because of "ideologically driven decisions by the Minister of Transport and his political puppets on KiwiRail's board".
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1/02/2013 9:50:12 p.m.
John Key and the National Government are anti-rail. They would love to see black tar-mac spread all over the country-side, clogged up with trucks polluting the air we breath. The trucking lobbying group is pissing into the National Party's pockets.
5/12/2012 7:38:26 p.m.
Wiseacre hit the nail on the head. If the parties concerned are wealthy, they're too big to fail and need all the help we can muster. If the parties concerned aren't so well off, they''re too small to bother with and we need some govt underlings to step up and take the blame. Great isn't it? Good to see that reality and the pressure that goes with it has the PM pissed off and yelling in Parliament today. Trying to crush criticism from the West Coast MP over the Pike River debacle. Better get used to that Jonkey. One of the few positive things that has developed from all the govt garbage is that more and more kiwis are finding their voice and speaking out against this administration and their heartless approach to running NZ. Yahoo!! Go the sleeping giant,...the public voice gets louder as the months go by.
4/12/2012 8:57:10 p.m.
If these workers still believe in the industry, and their skills, they should go to the banks, and set up a consortium to take over, run and continue this business. There are are many examples around the world of this sort of response and action by passionate workers. Grow some and stop moaning ?!!
4/12/2012 6:37:03 p.m.
If the PM is being honset here, abpou the Govt REALLY wanting to save Hillside, maybe he will do the decent thing now and overrule KiwiRail's closure decision. Build wagons there instead of buying Chinese, and while at it, build some more of those excellent "AK" passenger carriages.
4/12/2012 5:50:39 p.m.
seems to me in such a small country the tag the government carries is irelevant why dont the governments stop trying to puff their chests out and work for NZ all their policies are pretty much the same its the fighting and elections that seem to cost taxpayers millions for some chest-puffing
4/12/2012 4:14:00 p.m.
@ Marty - Let me remind you that NZ came close to being bankrupt under the Muldoon national government in the 1980s, and now we are still paying for that considering the effort of the previous labour lead government that paid down debts and ran surplus for the years they were in government.
4/12/2012 4:10:05 p.m.
@Marty - It was the Bolger-led National Government that privatised New Zealand Rail Limited in 1993.
History repeats. National will let the network run down, sell it cheap to their mates - who will asset strip it and demand subsidies from the public - before it has to be bought back by the taxpayer. Again. I wonder which ministers will be holding *secret* shares. Again.
4/12/2012 2:21:30 p.m.
mark crawford wrote:
I agree with Wayne Butson the closing of the workshop being an ideological decision,I simply do not believe that this government or a labour government would do any more.Past governments have paid scant regard to providing a proper rail passenger service,just remember the demise of the Lyttelton to wellington rail ferry service,the Christchurch to Invercargill service,the scaling down of Wellington to Auckland services and Palmerston North to Wellington services,the decision not to repair the Gisborne to Napier line. not to mention the continual decline of Kiwirails passenger rolling stock.Other countries are building more new rail while successive governments have been letting our rail slowly decline.
4/12/2012 11:58:49 a.m.
The Government raves on about lack of engineers then closes down one of the last place were they can be trained. The Chinese crap carriages being imported will last 5 minutes, they have already had to replace the brakes.
4/12/2012 11:35:03 a.m.
while other countries are improving there rail our government spends our money on roads and trucks,but the problem is the managers of kiwirail,while there getting a hand out from government,there not making any effort to make rail a going concern,so when things get tight they put workers off and shut down there workshops,lets see some new management!who will put rail on the map.......................
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