Monday, May 03, 2010

Back to the 70s

Given this inane story, here's some ideas:

Government companies making locally built computers, TVs, shoes, ships, mobile phones, cars....

Yes the railway workshop builds freight cars, successfully, following competitive tendering. Yes it overhauls locomotives, successfully. Yes once NZ railway workshops built everything for the railway, including rivets, nails, bolts and the like - often at many many times the unit cost of importing the same. Imagine any business building all of its own components, but not selling those components to anyone else - how sustainable is that?

It just shows some idiots haven't learned from the past. New Zealand cannot economically sustain a car ASSEMBLY industry, for thousands of units per annum, let alone sustain building bespoke passenger trains and locomotives. It is worth remembering the Ministry of Commerce report in the late 1990s which stated that the cost of each car assembly job was over $100,000, for people paid a quarter of that.

Last time it assembled passenger carriages it was the 1950s (the old Wellington units about t obe replaced by new imported trains), the last locomotives assembled were a handful of shunters in the early 80s.

Of course it does raise the very real point about how stupid Labour is - given that it happily let the Wellington Regional Council order 48 new electric units being built in South Korea, while it was in power.

Still, the government shouldn't be surprised this sort of silliness is brought up, given it owns the railway and is spending half a billion of your money on the folly of a rail network that will serve the needs of perhaps 2% of all trips in Auckland, and will lose money year after year. Still, a majority of you voted for that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/11/peak-oil-production-supply
Good growth in Auckland PT over recent months. However I agree that the rail workshops building EMU's is not a goer. Ian