By Doug Green
KiwiRail is a very funny organisation indeed. When I wrote about their lack of faith in their South Island Hillside engineering base I was told that Hillside was not up to the task to do highly specialised work.
Work was contracted out overseas and I had the CEO, Jim Quinn on the phone asking me to lay off KiwiRail and give it a fair go.
Last week he was on National Radio saying that by the of the year a decision would be made on the Gisborne to Napier line and it’s future. Well, guess what that decision has been made already …it has no future and as these things go a pre-determined decision has been activated. There is a statement on KiwiRail’s website which seems to suggest that the decision to close the line has already been made.
This is an example of how a lot of business is done in New Zealand. Transparency is just a twelve letter word which applies to those who want to make a decision. No open discussion no lateral thinking, no openness or consideration as to ‘another way’. No decent meetings with staff asking for ideas, just shareholders who can or can’t see a return.
Look at Greymouth and the absolute nightmare it has been through. Compassion for the mining community by the owners doesn’t appear to exist (correct me if I am wrong) and very soon, very, very soon you will hear about a lot of them crossing the ditch to Australia for work.
Then a bit later on the mine owners may well start producing again in a reduced capacity…and need staff.
It seems the country’s successes are in high technology and research and what is manufacturing and what is its future?