Kiwirail costs disputed by MP
Wed, 15 Feb 2012 8:48a.m.
Kiwirail made 44 workers redundant at its Hillside workshops near Dunedin last year, after estimating it would cost 25 to 30 percent more to build new train wagons in New Zealand than it would to build them in China.
However, a briefing document to Kiwirail's board in August said the cost to build the 300 flat-top freight wagons onshore would actually be 50 percent more than the Chinese bid of an estimated $29 million, Radio New Zealand reports.
The Kiwirail briefing says Hillside's bid for the work was based on a "very optimistic view" of costs and productivity.
Kiwirail chief executive Jim Quinn says that bid was much more than the company could afford, so it went with the bid it could afford.
But Labour MP Clare Curran is disputing Kiwirail's figures.
"I think [the briefing document] has been written deliberately to make it look as if the cost would be higher than it actually would be," she says.
Ms Curran says there's been a "whitewash" of the issue and wants an independent evaluation of the costs.
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says Hillside's price was not as high as either of Kiwirail's estimates.
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15/02/2012 5:17:53 p.m.
repeated instances of decisions like this are a large part of why NZ's economy never really gets very far and is so vulnerable to international market fluctuations.
of course, the only way to fix that is import tariffs, and our government couldn't Possibly do that.
it's not free trade, after all.
(never-mind that free trade is an inherently terrible idea that only actually helps those already dominating any given market maintain that position and prevent the growth of competition by crippling the basic engine of economic growth, which is the ability to replace imported products with locally produced ones.)
15/02/2012 5:17:06 p.m.
I have heard that even the locomotives that were brought last year from china are pieces of *hit and already need repairs...they could have been made in New Zealand as well
15/02/2012 3:28:53 p.m.
Does Kiwirails cost estimate of the Chinese work include the huge amount of time and money spent fixing the Chinese wagons once they got to NZ? There is reports of structural welds being cracked when they arrived in NZ and also the wagons being limited to 40kmph for a while until they went through the workshop here in NZ to fix the braking system that wasnt suitable. Once those costs are added in I'm sure the estimates would come back to being withing 5% of each other. If Hillside and China were given the exact same drawings and had to build it to the exact same standards then Hillside would win in cost and performance. Perhaps some actual investigation by reporters is needed rather than just parroting the press releases given out by both sides.
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