New KiwiRail Chair
Rail & Maritime Transport Union
9 August 2018
Transport workers look forward to constructive relationship with new KiwiRail Chair
Transport workers are welcoming the appointment of former Toll Chief Executive Greg Miller to the position of Kiwirail Chair.
“It’s always a pleasure to talk to an employer with experience in our industry,” says Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson.
“Particularly when they are genuinely interested both in talking and listening.”
The RMTU is particularly pleased that Mr Miller intends to continue with KiwiRail’s ‘high performance, high engagement’ model, which has provided tangible benefits to both the company and its employees.
The HPHE approach to workplace relations involves employees, their union and management at all levels working together to share ideas, cooperatively develop strategies and resolve problems constructively in a consensus framework.
“What’s good for KiwiRail is good for all New Zealanders,” says Mr Butson.
“We’ve worked with Greg Miller before in Tranz Rail and Toll, and he knows a well maintained rail to port network is the lifeblood of our economy.”
RMTU members are optimistic about the future of New Zealand transport, but there remain serious issues to be addressed.
The union says it is happy to assist the government and the new Kiwirail governance team in overcoming these obstacles to prosperity.
“The rail and maritime industries have ageing ferries, ageing locomotives and an ageing workforce,” says Mr Butson.
“We look forward to Greg Miller’s plan for putting modern rail ferries on our coast and the best locomotives for the job on our tracks.”
After nearly a decade of neglect under a road-obsessed National government, the RMTU is eager to see sustainable funding for rail in a mode neutral manner from the Land Transport Fund.
The union also anticipates Mr Miller will see the need to focus KiwiRail’s procurement practices on skill and knowledge development for Kiwi workers.
“We can’t wait to see KiwiRail provide a career path for more of our kids to work in their own country and in an industry they own,” says Mr Butson.
“With a new generation of railway and port workers trained for the job, and ongoing training to upskill existing staff, our transport sector will be the envy of the world.”