Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Government loses plot on supporting Kiwi jobs

Government loses plot on supporting Kiwi jobs

Two announcements today show the Government missing two opportunities to preserve and build good Kiwi jobs, said the CTU. More Kiwirail rolling stock is being manufactured overseas, and the management of two Auckland prisons is being privatised, with likely job and income losses.

Kiwirail has announced that a $29 million tender for 300 rail wagons has gone to China CNR Corporation. Kiwirail’s Hillside workshops tendered for the deal but lost out. The future looks bleak for Hillside to supply any of the remainder of the 3,000 wagons needed, except perhaps to assemble from CNR components. Kiwirail has also ruled out their own workshops building or assembling any more locomotives.

Bill Rosenberg, CTU Economist and Policy Director said: “The work that unions and Dunedin City Council commissioned from BERL regarding the Auckland commuter rail rolling stock earlier this year showed significant benefit to New Zealand from building them here. It created skilled jobs, increased the tax take and reduced New Zealand’s international debt. It also built a base for possible diversification and exports.”

Hillside is experienced in building wagons, but this decision puts the viability of the workshops in doubt.

“It is crazy to put hundreds of skilled jobs at risk by this narrow approach to purchasing,” said Rosenberg. “Sensible government procurement arrangements which are used widely internationally would use this kind of purchase to build local industry and skilled jobs.”

The government also announced today that the transnational Serco has won a tender to manage the two Auckland prisons, the brand new Mt Eden and the Auckland Central Remand Prison (ACRP). “Internationally this kind of step has led to loss of jobs and lower pay,” says Rosenberg. “That is how the contractors lower costs. Labour costs account for most of the costs of running a prison.”

“Even then, we have yet to see whether there will be lower costs to the public purse. PPPs have a record in the UK of being a huge waste of public money.”

In the UK basic pay is 8-44 percent lower in the private sector than the public sector, and on top of that, private sector prison officers get fewer benefits such as superannuation and holidays. Staffing levels are also lower. A study of Scottish prisons concluded that private sector cost savings are also made by employing staff with less skills and experience.

“Once again, the government is showing no faith in publicly run operations, and is cutting jobs at a time of high unemployment.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


Ardern: Speech To China Business Summit

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, ate marie, tena koutou katoa, good morning. I am very happy to be here with you once again at my fourth China Business Summit. ... More>>

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels