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Govt mismanagement costs more Solid Energy jobs

Clayton Cosgrove
SOE Spokesperson

15 August 2013

Govt mismanagement costs more Solid Energy jobs

National’s failure to rein in Solid Energy’s reckless spending is a key reason 93 miners have lost their jobs at Huntly East, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“This is the final kick in the guts for Huntly East workers. They have had to deal with the uncertainty caused by Solid Energy’s failings for almost a year. They will be furious that they have lost their jobs when this company has spent millions of dollars on executive bonuses, lobbyists, flash cars, overseas travel and God knows what else.

“The 93 job losses can be put down to the complete mismanagement of Solid Energy. A well-managed company should be able to handle reduced contracts but Solid Energy is almost $400 million in the red and doesn’t have the flexibility.

“This is a state-owned asset. The buck stops with the Government. Ministers have to provide effective oversight. They didn’t, they were asleep at the wheel.

“The Solid Energy buck stops at John Key’s desk. He is out of touch if he thinks giving $23 million in bonuses while the company is falling apart is the right thing to do.

“There are solutions but this Government isn’t listening. The new board of Solid Energy is trying to put its house back in order but ministers are talking openly about the company going under. Their hands-off approach has failed.

“National had years of warning about Solid Energy’s troubles. They did nothing. Ministers received month to month reports that said the company was in deep financial strife yet still they did nothing.

“The loss of these 93 jobs bring the total number of jobs lost at Solid Energy to almost 700. That’s a hell of a price for New Zealanders to pay for National’s negligence.

“I would get stuck in to support Solid Energy in its negotiations with the banks so the company can return to its days as an export-award winning company as it was under Labour,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

ENDS

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