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Ferry Decision Another Kick In the Guts For Kiwi Firms

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

14 January 2014

Ferry Decision Another Kick In the Guts For Kiwi Firms

New Zealand First is appalled by the Government decision to award a contract to a Bangladesh-based firm to build a ferry instead of New Zealand-based boat builders.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade awarded the $8 million contract to Western Marine Shipyard in Bangladesh to build a 43-metre long vessel for Tokelau. It will have the capacity to carry 60 passengers and 50 tonnes of freight.

Rt Hon Winston Peters says the contract shows the Government’s short-sighted economic decision-making. 

“New Zealand boat builders are capable of building this new ferry, but once again the Government has ignored the long-term national interest of retaining skilled employment and manufacturing capacity.

“Of course a boat can be built cheaper in Bangladesh, but when wider economic factors are taken into account the decision makes no sense.

“This decision is a serious blow to New Zealand’s boat building industry. It should come as no surprise because this Government is evidently not interested in protecting anything locally owned or operated.”

New Zealand First has a Buy New Zealand (Procurement) Bill in the ballot that would ensure that Government agencies give preference to New Zealand companies in situations such as this when public contracts go to tender.

“We call on all Members of Parliament to support our Member’s Bill because it will bring sanity back to Government procurement in New Zealand,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

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