KiwiRail FAILS its engineering workshops bigtime

### ODT Online Wed, 12 May 2010
KiwiRail won’t bid for Auckland rail work
By Mark Price
Any lingering hopes KiwiRail’s Hillside workshops might get the chance to build trains for Auckland have been dashed. KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn met staff in Dunedin yesterday to break the news the workshop would not be bidding for the contract believed to be worth around $375 million. Speaking to the Otago Daily Times afterwards, Mr Quinn said the decision was made because he believed the New Zealand workshops could not deliver in the required timeframe and at a price that would be competitive with overseas manufacturers.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Economics, Geography, Politics

16 responses to “KiwiRail FAILS its engineering workshops bigtime

  1. wirehunt

    So we cover the cost to bail the railways out. Then they turn around and shit on us. It is that simple.

    Another government department looking after the good of the country.

  2. Johnson

    As always, I fail to see any rationale in your arguments. You’re against KiwiRail choosing not to bid for work, they themselves state they cannot complete in time and don’t have the resources to do. Then it’s the “we bailed them out” argument you have issues with, why? You were previously moaning about the loss of work from Dunedin workshops for these contracts, stating “rubbish” and so forth, to the statements from the company they couldn’t do the work. Do you know better then them, the capacity of the company and their forward workload and the capabilities of the staff they have presently? A little bit of uninformed hearsay is often a very dangerous thing to promulgate as fact. It is preferable to judge and comment from an informed perspective than not. Now that is really “simple”.

  3. wirehunt

    I didn’t see where the workshops said they couldn’t do it, can you point that out to me please?

    I did see where the bloke running the show that lives, what? Auckland? That would be Jim, TOLD the workshops they weren’t capable of doing it. Have I missed something here? How long in fact has he spent here? Does he know how long they have been producing rolling stock here?

    I also noticed a comment today that the workshops would start looking at other work.

    From the very same Jim “Mr Quinn said there were discussions over promoting the workshops to get into more non-rail manufacturing and he was currently awaiting the outcome of a bid for an international contract.”

    Now who is it pulling our tit?? This week they don’t want to do structural ie: stadium, well at least that is what we got told anyway. Then next week they do. You ask yourself….

    There is a very bad smelling rat around here, in fact a whole fleet of them.

    • Elizabeth

      Last week was thinking a deal was already shaped or shaping with a preferred overseas supplier.

      The local workshops and interested parties have already delineated what they can DO, and what they CAN’T (requiring overseas inputs), and given the projected timeline for completion.

  4. Johnson

    “New Zealand workshops could not deliver in the required timeframe and at a price that would be competitive with overseas manufacturers.” Hence this means ‘can’t’ complete the contract. I don’t doubt the skill set exists at the workshops, but to expose yourself to a significant business risk in the name of ‘keeping it local’ is somewhat naive. I think the point that was being made is that if the time and resources aren’t available in the judgment of those who actually work there, then we need to take that as read. Surely wirehunt is not suggesting they bid for work they cannot complete in time in accordance with the contract, just to satisfy the machinations of a xenophobic business model? It is disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Although I was absolutely delighted to see the $40M contract that they ‘can’ complete being awarded to the Workshops. Smart business eh?

  5. wirehunt

    Johnson, you are missing the other bit though.

    We were told nowhere big enough bla bla bla, yet Jim states they are waiting for the outcome of a big international contract. Well what is the big contract? If it’s rail then why didn’t KiwiRail themselves let the workshops quote it. If it’s not and it turns out to be some kind of big structural contract then Hawkins should be run off!!

    It seems to me the whole place is awash with all these big contracts, including the one we had here in Dunners. But nothing is coming from it, we get told we can’t do that all the way through. The money seems to be going everywhere EXCEPT Dunedin, then in turn NZ. What the hell is going on???

  6. wirehunt

    And just maybe, who the hell is getting the backhanders???

  7. Johnson

    I think that unsubstantiated statements like intimating backhanders are being taken do no-one any credit. There is no conspiracy, nobody needs “running off”, its a paranoiac viewpoint to see things that are just not there. If you believe its not capacity, why didn’t you yourself bid for the work? Capacity seems to mean very little to your view of a business model. “Big” is a matter of perspective and it reflects the ability of the entity undertaking the work. We were told the workshops weren’t able to complete the work in a timely and competitive fashion, we were not told “nowhere big enough bla bla bla”. The reason that the workshops aren’t bidding for some work and are for other work, has been stated ad nauseum. CAPACITY. It was clearly stated that they couldn’t meet the requirements of the contract, hence did not bid. For the one they won, they could meet the requirements. Again, good business decisions by people who know a little bit more about it than your average man on the street.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 19 May 2010
      Document not quite the great pre-tender: group
      By Mark Price
      The group promoting KiwiRail’s Hillside Engineering workshops is underwhelmed by the “local content” clause of KiwiRail’s “expressions of interest” (EOI) document to potential builders of new trains for Auckland. Chairman John Christie yesterday told the Otago Daily Times the document appeared quite “neutral” and he would have preferred to see it contain more about how overseas manufacturers and New Zealand workshops could work together.
      Read more

    • ### ODT Online Tue, 14 May 2013
      Many a handy thing in workshops auction sale
      By Nigel Benson
      Looking for a robotic welder?How about a railway locomotive wheel-cutter? Or a prototype railway wagon? It comes without wheels, but if you had a railway locomotive wheel-cutter, you could make your own. There is something for everyone who likes heavy metal at the Hillside Engineering Workshops plant and equipment auction starting today. ”It’s all specialised railway equipment, so it is a bit different,” Alastair Beer Auctions owner Alastair Beer, of Tauranga, said yesterday. Eight staff from the Tauranga business and 12 Student Job Search workers had spent the past three weeks preparing the 1250 auction lots.
      Read more

      • ### May 15, 2013 – 6:36pm
        Contents of Hillside Machine Shop auctioned off
        A large part of Dunedin’s fabrication history went under the hammer today, as the contents of the Machine Shop at Hillside were auctioned off. For those attending, it was a chance to pick up a bargain, and reflect on the closure of what was once a major part of Dunedin’s manufacturing sector.

        • ### ODDT Online Thu, 16 May 2013
          ‘Swings and roundabouts’ at Hillside auction
          By Craig Baxter
          Auctioneer Kevin O’Connor, of Auckland, conducts an auction of engineering equipment in the Hillside Engineering Workshops fabrication shop yesterday. More than 200 people attended the two-day auction, which was held in the former project shop and stores area on Tuesday and the machine and fabrication shops yesterday.
          Read more

        • ### ODT Online Thu, 16 May 2013
          Sculptures in honour of industrial heritage
          By Nigel Benson
          The industrial heritage of South Dunedin was celebrated yesterday with the installation of two stainless steel rope ball sculptures in King Edward St as part of a beautification project. The rope balls were commissioned last year as part of the South Dunedin retail centre revitalisation plan, Dunedin City Council urban designer Peter Christos said.
          Read more

  8. Peter

    Contrast this news story with the news that the government is fast tracking Chinese high roller gamblers to our casinos (mainly Sky City in Auckland) by giving them VIP treatment at immigration/customs. How sick is that while they send workers at Hillside to the wall.

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    For a change it looks like these public sculptures have reference to and meaning in social context – beyond the artist’s navel. If they serve to keep the memory of the dumbass political Hillside decision alive, that’s got to be good. History forgotten comes back for a second bite.

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