D Scene – train building, buses and forest products

### D Scene 5-4-10
City to take case to KiwiRail (page 5)
By Mike Houlahan
Today a Dunedin delegation, headed by Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie, meets KiwiRail to put the case for the firm’s Hillside Workshops to be part of a bid to build new carriages and engines for Auckland’s rail system.

Christie said the meeting was proceeding despite [Transport Minister Steve] Joyce and [KiwiRail chief executive Jim] Quinn’s comments, and that he did not regard the exercise as a fool’s errand.

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Passengers lose out in timetable decision (page 6)
By Wilma McCorkindale
Industry players say they have missed the bus and passengers have been short changed because of an Otago Regional Council u-turn on a planned improved timetable for its southern routes to Green Island and beyond. Informed sources – who would not be named – said the council should have re-tendered the routes and consulted on them again because of massive eleventh hour changes it allowed in awarding the contract.
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Talk: Dunedin on Dunedin (page 9)
Your say: Letters to the editor
South Dunedin not doing that bad by Elaine Cole, Caversham
Incorrect conclusions by Keith Harris, Dunedin
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NZ on show at World Expo (page 13)
When World Expo 2010 opened in Shanghai on Saturday, New Zealand showed itself to the world, but just what does it take to represent contemporary Aotearoa? Sarah Catheral finds out. Fairfax
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Biz: Crunching the numbers
More than just logging: Very much an NZ company (pages 20-21)
For many Dunedinites the smoke from the Mount Allan fire earlier this year was the first time Wenita Forest Products impacted on our lives. However, the timber firm has closer ties with the local community than that.
Mike Houlahan reports.

  • Wenita owns and manages about 30,000ha of forest in the Clutha and Dunedin districts.
  • Around 60% of Wenita’s annual harvest is exported – mainly to China, but it also sells to Korea, India and occasionally Vietnam. The remainder is sold to customers from Canterbury to Southland.
  • All forests are managed on a sustainable basis, with 1400-1500ha of trees planted annually to replace that year’s crop. Trees generally remain in the ground between 27 and 30 years before being felled.
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    Post by Elizabeth Kerr

    5 Comments

    Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Geography, Politics, Project management, Urban design

    5 responses to “D Scene – train building, buses and forest products

    1. Under this current government there is zero to no chance of any decent engineering work being done in NZ, with benefit to NZ firms, even more so when you read the comments of the Minister of Transport (surely an oxymoronic title).

    2. Russell Garbutt

      Paul, the entire rail system including the engineering support belonging to rail in one form or another, has been treated by Governments for years as a means of providing cash to those that purchased them. It would be interesting to be able to list the investment schedule that Government or private operators have put into the business, and list alongside that the money that has been taken out of it.

      Rail must be the answer to most of the long-haul freight questions faced by NZ – look at the alternative options such as huge truck/trailer that we are being delivered.

      Engineering of this type must be a core activity for us in Dunedin if the petrol/oil activity does occur alongside marine engineering support, but it does seem that if a Chinese factory can produce it cheaper then that is the only factor to be considered.

      • Elizabeth

        Luckily – for better or worse, when considering just one company and what it’s lifespan might be given Chinese/Asian ‘copy’ interests… – Fonterra is a main export earner basing its New Zealand operations on rail, with its Otago Southland investments as the prototype for delivery nationally. Rail rail rail. Local engineering is required to service it – at the very least we’re not going to lose Dunedin’s engineering base given the riches of the rural sector.

    3. wirehunt

      Elizabeth, don’t you believe it. A lot of local companies are struggling.

    4. Elizabeth

      Yeah, not saying work for all, wirehunt. I’m not as narrow in my thinking as my last comment might suggest. Like many of us I know the struggle, how could we not. And now we’re in the ‘second’ wave of finance houses collapsing, we’re not through the mill by any means – a lot more shakedown to go and that means job losses, lack of credit, all depending on sector and scale. Important to ignore those who try to talk things up in the media just now. This is going to be along ride. Keep thinking quality outputs, solid entrepreneurial endeavour – we’re collectively bright enough to survive and be developing sustainable business models.

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