Build In NZ Campaign Rolls On


50 people attended a public meeting in South Dunedin last night to support the union campaign to build new trains for Auckland in local workshops.

Speakers urged Dunedin people to raise it as an issue at this year’s local body elections.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union Hillside Branch Secretary Les Ingram, who works at Hillside rail workshops, estimated 500 to 1200 extra jobs and nearly $500 million dollars in income were at stake.

“Dunedin cannot afford to let opportunities like this pass it by if we want to provide jobs for local people in the future.”

Although the government has ruled out most of the contract going to local suppliers, the RMTU was continuing its campaign and wanted to get across to the public how building rail units locally would provide a massive boost in jobs and income.

The Maritime Union of New Zealand general secretary Joe Fleetwood, said the push for free trade policies was largely responsible for the situation where jobs were threatened due to unbalanced economic policies.

Both speakers rubbish that the notion that New Zealand did not have the expertise to do the rail work.

Mr Ingram detailed previous work done at Hillside and his view was backed up by a retired engineer in the audience who recounted the many large scale projects other Dunedin firms have undertaken in the past.




  1. Andrew says:

    Sorry, but by overseas standards, the SA sets are pretty average, and the first ones were pretty rubbish.

    Admittedly the newer ones are an improvement, but I personally think the RMTU should focus its efforts on saving the threatened lines in Northland, Gisborne, and Stratford. Keeping these lines open is far more important in the long term than who builds Auckland’s first batch of EMUs.

  2. anthony says:

    even if we do build them here, half the devices, motors, equipment etc. will still have the made in china labels anyway!


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