Members of the now defunct Hillside working party are
willing to join forces if or when the need arises in the
future, chairman John Christie says.
The group was established three years ago when KiwiRail first
began shedding staff from its Hillside Engineering Workshops
in South Dunedin.
It comprised all Dunedin-based politicians as well as Dunedin
City Council representatives, union members, industry
professionals and Mr Christie, as Otago Chamber of Commerce
The group had helped redundant Hillside workers find
alternative employment, access counselling and understand
welfare options, as well as provide a platform for discussion
about ensuring Dunedin's economy was stable for the wider
Working party members met on Friday, when it was decided the
group no longer had a key focus, as just a few workers
remained at Hillside.
''The original purpose for coming together has been
completed,'' Mr Christie said.
However, more mass redundancy, such as at Hillside, was
something which might trigger the group's reforming, he said.
''We have a group of very willing leaders within our
community who will keep in contact and come together to find
a viable solution if needed. That's at least one positive
thing that has come out of what was something quite
negative,'' he said.
Mr Christie said it was possible the working party would be
involved in finding uses for the parts of Hillside no longer
in operation, but that would depend on negotiations with