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Labour Better Late Than Never on Telecomm's

Media Release

15 February 2006

Labour Better Late Than Never on Telecommunications – Peters

Labour's awaking on the need for fundamental change in our telecommunications industry is a welcome development, but comes nearly half a decade too late, says Rt Hon Winston Peters.

"Since 1998 New Zealand First has been championing the type of reform that is required to make New Zealand a world leader in telecommunications – from unbundling the local loop through to pricing issues and access for rural communities. In the middle of 1998 Treasury completed a report recommending deregulation.

"As our current standings in the OECD on broadband uptake and our investment in telecommunications highlight, we are lagging too far behind other developed nations. Our businesses and our communities at large deserve better than this," said Mr Peters.

"With technology developing so rapidly we simply cannot afford to be left behind.

"The government will have New Zealand First's support as it moves to remedy a range of issues on this front and is calling on all parties in parliament to work together constructively so that this issue can be resolved with the urgency it requires.

"Telecommunications is an issue where the national interest outweighs any cheap political point scoring and parliament has a duty to work together and expeditiously. We simply cannot afford for another half decade to pass without action because we risk hindering our opportunities for greater productivity," concluded Mr Peters.


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