Nearly 90 workers face redundancy, with the news only part of
Kiwirail's Hillside Workshop in Dunedin has been sold.
KiwiRail has entered into a conditional agreement to sell the
foundry to Bradken, which will continue to operate the site,
including supplying parts to KiwiRail as required. The sale
is expected to be completed early next year.
KiwiRail's freight business would now operate the heavy lift
facility and the rest of the site will be progressively
closed down over the next few months as work is either
completed or transferred to the Hutt Workshops near
Chief executive Jim Quinn said it was unfortunate the company
could not finalise a purchaser for the whole business, but he
was pleased there would still be some operations continuing
at the site.
Many would be sad about its closure; however, change was
necessary as KiwiRail continued to build a sustainable rail
business for the challenges ahead, he said.
''This will be very difficult for our staff and although some
will be transferred to Bradken or the KiwiRail Freight
business, there will be redundancies.''
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union said the news of a
partial sale only would be cold comfort to nearly 90 workers
who faced redundancy.
''The fact the foundry will remain open under the new owner
and is of some solace, and KiwiRail's decision to retain
eight jobs to do heavy lift maintenance on the site makes
sense, but the fact is that the closure of the manufacturing
facility is a body blow,'' said RMTU Acting General Secretary
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
the chamber welcomed the announcement of the partial sale and
saw the announcement as positive for Dunedin in the long
''It quickly became clear that the historic business would
not emerge intact from the sale . . . this hasn't been a
quick or easy process. However, the Chamber is pleased that a
company with local connections, and a feel for the local
environment, is involved and will be making a capital
investment of this size into the city.
''We're also very hopeful that the business will continue to
grow and make a positive contribution to the local economy,
increasing jobs in the future.''