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The strange jobs disconnection

The strange jobs disconnection between Welfare Working Group and KiwiRail

Alliance Party media release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday 25 June 2011

The Alliance Party has highlighted how the person seeking to solve unemployment on behalf of the Government, is also on the Board of Directors of KiwiRail, whose recent decisions have led to the loss of skilled jobs.

Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says that Paula Rebstock, the Chair of the government's Welfare Working Group, is also listed in KiwiRails' 2009/ 2010 annual report as the Deputy Chair of KiwiRail.

KiwiRail has just announced plans to make 70 workers redundant in their engineering workshops.

Ms Murray says Ms Rebstock's Welfare Working Group claims to be very concerned about the number of people on the unemployment benefit.

"Our welfare system is, according to Working Group, economically unsustainable and some thing needs to be done urgently to reduce the number of beneficiaries."

KiwiRail, on the other hand is planning to consign 70 workers to the dole queue because it would rather give contracts for its new rolling stock to overseas companies, than have them built by its own workers in its Hillside and Woburn workshops.

"This is despite the fact that these workshops have been building quality rolling stock efficiently and cost effectively for over 100 years."

If KiwiRail was prepared to build all its rolling stock in New Zealand, not only would the 70 workers keep their jobs, it is estimated over 1300 new jobs would be created.

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There is no credible reason why KiwiRails' rolling stock cannot be built in New Zealand, says Ms Murray.

The Alliance Party calls on Ms Rebstock, as Deputy Chair of KiwiRail, to intervene and demand that KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn leads by example.

She must insist KiwiRail implements a policy of local procurement of its rolling stock for the good of the economy and for her own credibility.

ENDS


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