The Government’s commissioning of a Bangladeshi company to build Tokelau’s new ferry makes a joke of its ‘improved’ procurement policy, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson Shane Jones.
“The Government was forced to cynically introduce new procurement regulations last October after the struggle local companies are having was highlighted by the Oppositions’ manufacturing inquiry.
“However, this contract shows Steven Joyce’s changes were merely lip service. This hands-off Government is not committed to Kiwi companies.
“It is bizarre New Zealand’s boat building industry was good enough for Oracle Team USA but is not good enough for the Pacific Islands.
“Boat builders only need to look at Dunedin’s gutted Hillside workshop if they want to see the future the Government has planned for their industry.
“Has the Government learnt nothing from KiwiRail who spent $70 million on Chinese-built locomotives only to find they were plagued with problems?
“It’s short-sightedness penny-pinching has robbed local companies and local communities of jobs and opportunities.
“The tax and other downstream benefits of this type of contract would undoubtedly make up for the extra cost in building the ferry in New Zealand.
“New Zealand workers shouldn’t be second only to cheap labour in Bangladesh where the average monthly wage is $NZ697,” Shane Jones says.