New Zealand's Labour party and the rail workers' union are demanding answers to claims Chinese workers brought to the country to fix asbestos-contaminated locomotives were paid as little as $NZ3 ($A2.79) an hour.

Labour’s Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard and the Rail and Maritime Transport Union say they have written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise asking for an urgent probe into the allegations. The Chinese engineers were brought to New Zealand to remedy asbestos found in Chinese-made locomotives. The work…