MFAT de­ci­sion ‘cost 127 Kiwi jobs’

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

The de­ci­sion by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade to com­mis­sion a US$ 6.6 mil­lion ($ 8 mil­lion) ferry to be built in Bangladesh rather than by a New Zealand boat builder has dis­ap­pointed the 450-plus mem­bers of the New Zealand Ma­rine In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion (NZ Ma­rine).

The 43-me­tre ves­sel is a re­place­ment ferry for the New Zealand ter­ri­tory of Toke­lau and ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing 60 pas­sen­gers and 50 tonnes of freight.

Twelve ship­yards from Aus­tralia, Bangladesh, China, New Zealand, Poland and Sin­ga­pore sub­mit­ted ten­ders with the Bangladesh firm Western Ma­rine Ship­yard se­lected. Not only will it be built off­shore, it was de­signed by Dan­ish firm Knude E Hansen.

Dur­ing 18 months of talks be­tween NZ Ma­rine and MFAT, the depart­ment con­firmed there are no in­struc­tions to con­sider any eco­nomic gain to New Zealand from hav­ing this ves­sel built here ver­sus by an over­seas yard.

Peter Bus­field, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of NZ Ma­rine, says: “We have sought the ad­vice of highly-re­spected eco­nomic ad­vi­sors Mar­ket Eco­nom­ics, which ad­vised that the gov­ern­ment procur­ing a ves­sel from New Zealand for the sum of NZ$14 mil­lion would gen­er­ate an ad­di­tional $ 9 mil­lion in GDP and sus­tain the equiv­a­lent of 127 em­ploy­ees for one year.

“We be­lieve the gov­ern­ment’s pro­cure­ment re­quire­ments are fun­da­men­tally f lawed as the process does not fac­tor in the eco­nomic gain to the coun­try of buy­ing ‘New Zealand made’ ver­sus im­port­ing.”

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