There is a cluster of engineering firms in Dunedin that have been doing clever stuff for years. They bring money to our town in the form of jobs and investment, and they make stuff. Useful stuff.
Some (not all) of these firms are under threat because of a recent Government decision. The Government has instructed KiwiRail to opt for cheapest rather than best product. This has seen taxpayer money flow overseas rather than to Dunedin. This decision affects more than just Hillside. It will have knock-on effects. There will be unemployment and skilled workers will leave town.
Amongst the large economies, Germany and Japan have the highest wealth per capita. They have a manufacturing base. People say China is going ahead because of manufacturing. Why does it seem like the National Government is trying to get rid of our productive industries?
There is an alternative. While there may be a small extra cost – to KiwiRail – for making things in Dunedin, from a wider taxpayer perspective, funding kiwi skills and jobs is the better choice. We need government decisions that take these wider benefits into account. Labour is working towards this alternative.