KiwiRail outsources track repairs
Wed, 18 Jul 2012 4:22p.m.
An Australian company has been contracted to maintain 2800km of rail track and the Government is being accused of selling out New Zealand workers.
NZ First leader Winston Peters revealed this afternoon that KiwiRail has awarded the contract to Australian rail grinding company Speno.
"This is exactly the sort of maintenance work that should be carried out by KiwiRail using New Zealand labour, not by a foreign company that will take its profits offshore," he says.
"This backhanded move to use an Australian company over KiwiRail's own staff is insulting."
KiwiRail earlier this month announced it had plans to lay off around 200 employees because it has to cut costs.
Mr Peters said they were told they wouldn't be replaced by contractors, and he questioned Prime Minister John Key in Parliament.
Mr Key said he didn't have details of the contract and it was an operational matter for KiwiRail.
"But it would be against the Closer Economic Relationship to ban an Australian company from doing something in New Zealand," he says.
"And it wouldn't be in New Zealand's interests, because New Zealand companies do an awful lot of work in Australia and we certainly wouldn't want to get into a tit-for-tat situation on that front."
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20/07/2012 1:41:09 p.m.
Mr Peters is actually wrong with this example. The contract with SPENO is for the hire of a very specilised and expensive piece of equipment to carry out about 6-9 months worth of work in NZ. The machine is worth about $34million and there is not the justifucation for Kiwirail to buy one. It will be maintained by its owners, but operated by Kiwirail's own track staff as it makes its way from one of the country to the other. Once the job is done there will be no further work for a machine of this nature for about 10 years, so there is no point in owning one.
19/07/2012 9:55:57 a.m.
Contract went to Australian Company as no company in NZ has a Rail Grinder or can deliver the services. It is specialised work so can't use current KR labour.
18/07/2012 7:17:02 p.m.
im pretty sure in the contract theres a set of critera they have to prove before outsourcing, i really dont think the union is going to accept an cop out like "need to cut costs". alot of hand washing going on here, why bother spending money training up nzers when someone else will do it cheaper, so much for keys plans to boost jobs, i wonder if the new company will be invited to watch the rugby in the kiwirail corporate box?
18/07/2012 7:16:45 p.m.
Ken Martin wrote:
John Key, the workers friend.
18/07/2012 4:44:52 p.m.
This government has got some major issues. Its hard enough trying to find work when they pull the rug from under people and give it to a country that has plenty of jobs for its own people.
How John Key can say its nothing to do with him when it is a government owned asset( But for how Long?)
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