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KiwiRail carriages need new independent tests

KiwiRail carriages need new independent tests

The Government must launch a review of KiwiRail’s contracting systems and bring in new independent testing of its Chinese-made locomotives after asbestos was found in them, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“Asbestos in 21 Century rail locos is shocking and highlights the failures of the Government’s ‘lowest price possible’ attitude. You can bet these issues wouldn’t be happening if KiwiRail had used Hillside instead.

“Such short termism has cost jobs, a major workshop and may cost lives in the future.

“Last year asbestos was found in Australian locos made by the same Chinese manufacturer. KiwiRail contracted a company to test the locos here but it found nothing. That is extremely concerning and that company should not be conducting these new independent tests.

“This latest debacle raises serious concerns about KiwiRail’s contracting systems. It follows rotting Peruvian sleepers and problems with brake pads and sub-standard steel on locos and wagons.

“We need an independent review of how KiwiRail keeps getting it so wrong.

“These serious issues wouldn’t have happened if the Government’s policies hadn’t put pressure on KiwiRail to contract to the cheapest possible manufacturer when Hillside was a world-class rail carriage workshop.

“The Government’s turnaround plan for KiwiRail is clearly a shambles. It must be revised now,” says David Cunliffe

Ends

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