15 Dec 2010

Chinese firm wins NZ rail contract

9:36 am on 15 December 2010

Chinese company CNR Corporation has won a $29 million contract from KiwiRrail to build 300 new rail wagons.

Kiwirail says it turned to the overseas firm because New Zealand workshops were not competitve and could not complete the contract on time.

Chief executive Jim Quinn says the wagons were needed by July and the 25% gap in costs between the Chinese and New Zealand tenders was too great to ignore.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union general secretary, Wayne Butson, says the decision is bizarre and shows no faith in the local rail industry, which could have delivered the wagons on time.