'What a load of bull' - Richard Loe questions logic behind synthetic carpet contract
Rural News
Rural News

'What a load of bull' - Richard Loe questions logic behind synthetic carpet contract

A decision was made earlier in the week by the Ministry of Education to award a contract to an American company to fit out over 600 rural Kiwi schools with synthetic carpet.

Wool Impact Limited Chief Executive Andy Caughey explained that part of the decision was to do with the current criteria, but believes that the selection criteria needs to change while.

Richard Loe from Carters Tyres told REX hosts Rebecca Greaves and Hamish McKay he is confused about why the Government are investing in the wool industry only to then turn around and look elsewhere.

"A few years ago Damien O'Connor put $12 million through the NPI into an organisation called Wool Impact," he said.

"Hold on, let's wind the clock back a wee bit, $12 million into helping the wool industry come up with new products, what are the people making decisions up too?"

"What a load of bull that is."

Part of the reason for choosing the American company was the fact that their synthetic carpet was highly fire retardant. Loe pointed out, however, that the only reason they are fire retardant is because of a chemical infused in the carpet.

"The fire service will tell you it's not the smoke they're worried about it's the fumes that get people in the end.

"These US tiles are fire retardant because they've got a chemical in them which makes them fire retardant to a level.

"You want our kids, our grandkids to sit and learn on that, come on government get off your arse and make a proper decision."

He questioned why Damien O'Connor who is currently out of the country, can't make a comment on the current situation, or even Jan Tinetti the Minister of Education who also hasn't spoken up about the decision.

"We've got a government and a potential government not wanting to help our agricultural sector.

"We've just been through a pandemic and the only business that stood up and kept this country going through those years was the agricultural sector."

Although it may seem like a relatively small decision in the grand scheme of things the precedent of importing international products from international companies instead of investing in the quality of New Zealand's biggest business sector.

"The hoops we have to jump through, whether it's selling our produce and getting audited for that, right through to the environmental side and then we're giving a multi-billion dollar US company this contract where they don't deserve or need it.

"Why don't we look after New Zealand business for New Zealander's sake?"

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