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New Zealanders paying too much for mobile calls

9th June 2005

Hautaki says New Zealanders paying too much for mobile phone calls Statement by Hautaki Limited

Hautaki Limited, a 30% shareholder of Econet Wireless New Zealand Limited (Econet) has welcomed the release by the Commerce Commission on its mobile termination declaration and Argo TMC’s report into the competitiveness of New Zealand mobile phone services.

Bill Osborne, Chairman of Hautaki Limited, said “It is good to see that the Commerce Commission now concluding that New Zealanders are paying too much for mobile phone calls.

As investors, we would like to see an OECD-style regulatory environment so that we know our investment is not at risk from the power that the incumbents have built up through years of limited competition. Appropriate telecommunications regulation increases competition which increases price pressure. This is the case everywhere in the OECD, but it has never happened here in New Zealand.”

Hautaki Limited is continuing to support the entry by Econet Wireless into the marketplace. Mr. Osborne said “We’re confident that our investment will be a great strategic asset for Maori into the future, so long as the Telecommunications Commissioner follows normal OECD practice.”

Hautaki Limited is in a sound financial position with a 30% stake in Econet Wireless and our equity investment is secured. We confirm that good progress is being made albeit at a slower pace than originally anticipated. Now that Econet Wireless has successfully completed major capital raising we look forward to seeing further development of the network.

Hautaki remains confident that there is a strong business case for four players in New Zealand. Mr. Osborne said “We have no doubt that the joint venture with Econet Wireless will bear fruit, for Hautaki Limited and New Zealanders.


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