New Zealand First pledges to re-establish Hillside as a key part of New Zealand’s rail infrastructure once again, said New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters.
At a visit to the site today, Winston Peters said that New Zealand First has a long policy of supporting New Zealand’s rail infrastructure.
“Rail is vital national infrastructure, but decades of managed decline and underinvestment from previous governments have left our key assets to rot at the cost of local jobs,” Mr Peters said.
“New Zealand First is seriously glad to see the current reopening, upgrade and development of the site to bring back a thriving workshop.
“However, while the planned improvements for the site will allow us to maintain and service locomotives and wagons, we think that further investment is needed to bring back the skills, and expertise required to assemble rail wagons here in New Zealand.
“This is about local, sustainable, long-term jobs. This workshop used to employ hundreds of local workers to refurbish and build cars for the New Zealand railway.
Hillside Workshop was closed in 2012 until the Coalition Government decision to invest $19.97 million from the Provincial Growth Fund in October 2019. Hillside is the only heavy lifting rail facility in the South Island so is vital to KiwiRail’s business and the South Island rail system.