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RMTU: Government closes door on local businesses

By   /  March 26, 2015  /  5 Comments

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New Zealanders will not get a say on the government’s decision to ratify an international agreement which removes the right to protect local jobs

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New Zealanders will not get a say on the government’s decision to ratify an international agreement which removes the right to protect local jobs, says Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson.

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision” says Mr Butson.

“The government knows New Zealanders are opposed to international treaties which remove our right to protect local jobs. That is why the select committee is refusing to take public submissions”.

“Steven Joyce and Tim Groser are claiming the agreement is a win for exporters because overseas governments cannot favour their local companies over New Zealand companies. But the catch is that our government cannot favour local companies for its contracts” says Mr Butson.

“The real winners are overseas companies like Serco who will continue to muscle their way into more New Zealand government contracts. The losers are local businesses who supply government companies like KiwiRail. If our government favours local companies and local workers then overseas companies can take action in the World Trade Organisation”.

“The chances of resurrecting Hillside Engineering in Dunedin are minimal. The chances of other local engineering companies getting a look in for future government contracts are just as grim. Multinationals and major conglomerates will be rubbing their hands together knowing the government will soon remove its own right to protect local jobs” says Mr Butson.

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About the author

Morgan Godfery

Morgan Godfery - Te Pahipoto, Lalomanu (Samoa). Morgan is based in Wellington and is a political writer specialising in Maori politics. Better known as the author of Maui Street, Morgan spends too much time following international politics, indigenous peoples and TV. He is humbled to be a part of New Zealand’s best blogging line up.

5 Comments

  1. cleangreen says:

    Excellent topic Morgan just as we are preparing to fight Government to “Save our Rail” in Gisborne to Napier which was damaged after Government (through the Steven Joyce planed Kiwiral ten year turnaround plan sucked all the funding out of regional rail and dumped it in Auckland for “Pork barrel politics” again, and their private rail run operation.

    Press release of Saturdays “Memorial” three year raaly for “Save the Rail” rally.

    Hello Rail supporters,

    At 11.00 am on Saturday March 28th a group will lead a march down Grey St from the Old Post Office to the Railway Station. BYO banners, placards, whistles, drums & fat controller costumes… Some may also like to bring wheelbarrows and shovels as a symbolic demonstration of willing labourers to repair the rail washouts!

    Gisborne, Wairoa and Hawkes Bay people need to send the strongest message possible to government ministers that the rail is a billion dollar strategic asset essential for the district to retain. Government assistance is needed to reopen it. A growing number of Gisborne businesses have committed to using the line because it is increasingly cheaper, safer and more reliable than the alternatives (road, sea & air) for many of the bulk commodities we transport out of the region.

    We hope to have a good turnout to show the Gisborne community’s support for reinstatement of the railway line. Please bring your friends.

    Hence with virtually no HB regional rail track maintenance funding available the track maintenance crews were scaled back for 12 to 4 to maintain the Napier-Gisborne rail line at 212 kms long with some of the most challenging culverts and drain systems in NZ.

    This is what Kiwirail admitted in the oppress was “Partially the reason that caused a weather bomb to wash out the three sections at Optama’s beach loop world famous panoramic vista point high above the cliff above the coastline rail line and Government pounced on mothballing the line and now wants it turned into a John key cycleway.

    We have the HB Regional Council now offering a plan to Kiwirail to lease the line and sublease it to a NZ rail operators consortium to operate the service but Government it appears is pressuring Kiwirail. to scrap this offer in Favour of cycle trail or golf cart leases for 25+ plus years to tie any future rail services as unavailable.

    This Government is in bad with Road trucking companies for sure as we and all local councils are also asking for a chance for local rail freight to run in competition to road freight companies to offer lower transportation costs but Government are hell bent on giving a clear monopoly to road freight cartels which will only drive up transportation costs and throttle all regional economies, what a political mess so we hope Winston wins on Saturday as He has committed to saving regional rail all over the country.

    Go Winston, our salvation.

    IMPORTANT PLEASE
    Press release of Saturdays “Memorial” three year rally for “Save the Rail” rally.

    Hello rail supporters spread this please

    At 11.00 am on Saturday March 28th a group will lead a march down Grey St from the Old Post Office to the Railway Station. BYO banners, placards, whistles, drums & fat controller costumes… Some may also like to bring wheelbarrows and shovels as a symbolic demonstration of willing labourers to repair the rail washouts!

    Gisborne, Wairoa and Hawkes Bay people need to send the strongest message possible to government ministers that the rail is a billion dollar strategic asset essential for the district to retain. Government assistance is needed to reopen it. A growing number of Gisborne businesses have committed to using the line because it is increasingly cheaper, safer and more reliable than the alternatives (road, sea & air) for many of the bulk commodities we transport out of the region.

    We hope to have a good turnout to show the Gisborne community’s support for reinstatement of the railway line. Please bring your friends.

    • ThinkAboutIt says:

      I fully support the provision of upgraded, preferably rapid, rail links to the regions including Gisborne, as being essential for both the regions and the country. However I assure you Auckland is also desperate for similar infrastructure investment. What we need is MORE investment not a squabble over an inadequate pie. Unfortunately the bunch of imagination stunned ideologues in government cannot or refuse to realise that private enterprise will not invest in projects with long payback horizons.

  2. Nick says:

    The problem with this approach is that the only people able to tender for foreign government contracts are the largest players. It shuts out all smaller businesses. Even our largest contracting companies, only rarely competitive against massive economies of scale, are likely to lose out to the mega-contractors on the world stage who are also in a position to provide massive “inducements” along with governmental pressure from larger countries to obtain contracts. As a consequence we send our small contractors to the wall at home in exchange for finding it almost impossible to compete on a world scale.
    Good deal.

  3. Kim Dandy says:

    Why is there no out cry about this in the MSM? The people of New Zealand should be aware of this next sellout of NZ, by this hopeless government. They are x@&#ing useless.
    And @ cleangreen, I am all for rail – it could seriously get NZ moving again – wasted potential at the moment ( thanks Nats). All the best for your demonstrations.

  4. Save NZ says:

    More dodgy dealings and removal of local people’s rights.

    Soon, running a business in NZ (or even tender for one) will involve copious amounts of legal wrangling with consequences of litigation if the ‘heavy hitters’ don’t get their way.

    Thanks National for making business more litigations in this country!
    Thanks National for making business harder for start ups in this country!
    Thanks National for your continuing removal of democracy and sovereignty behind closed doors!

    Thanks MSM for allowing National to do this with your lazy fucked up reporting (which luckily a growing number of people of NZ now realise is propaganda)!

    And Thanks to the voters, who after sending a message in Northland, hopefully send it right the way to the next General Election where Labour who have already been sent a message in the last General Election, have hopefully, listened and learnt.

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