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Cunliffe: Chorus vs Commerce Commission | "Roast Busters"

David Cunliffe: Chorus vs Commerce Commission | “Roast Busters”

David Cunliffe's weekly pre-caucus press conference – 4 November 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell


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David Cunliffe called the government's broadband policy an “extraordinary failure” and questioned the actions of the police towards the so called “Roast Busters” group.

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At his weekly pre-caucus press standup Mr Cunliffe said the government wanted to “re-nationalise ...[Chorus] because of the extraordinary failure of its broadband policy”.

Ultra-fast broadband network provider Chorus has warned that the price set by the Commerce Commission for broadband could potential trigger a loan default.

The government should enact the Commerce Commissions recommendations, and look at why New Zealander's uptake of ultra fast broadband had been “desultory slow”, Mr Cunliffe said.

Not enough content online and slow hook-up times had not given people enough incentive to join up, he said.

He did not think that Chorus would go under although there needed to be more discussions them about this.

If Labour was in government they would follow the Commerce Commission's ruling as well as have an online content strategy to incentivise people signing up to UFB.

“What we have here is a statement from the regulator that New Zealand households should not pay $100 a year each extra just to bail out a bad contract from the government.”

Mr Cunliffe said UFB uptake was at 2%, which was the underlying reason why Chorus' profitability was lower than forecast.

On other matters Mr Cunliffe said Labour would support the Harmful Digital Communication Bill which was being being introduced in Parliament today in the wake of the “Roast Busters” group who filmed group sex with intoxicated minors. However, the bill did not get to the core issue which was the reluctance of victims to go to the police.

He said he had concerns about why the issues were not bought up earlier, why the local community was not advised and wanted to know what steps were taken to protect innocent young people who were at risk of predation.

“I want to know what they [the police] were doing.”

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ENDS

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