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National wants evidence unbundling will work

Don Brash MP
National Party Leader
08 May 2006

National wants to see evidence unbundling will work

National will support the Government’s Telecom unbundling legislation to a select committee but reserves its position beyond that, says National Party Leader Don Brash.

“The jury is out on whether unbundling will be effective in giving New Zealanders access to faster, cheaper broadband,” says Dr Brash.

“The Government claims its decision will result in faster and cheaper broadband, but National remains unconvinced based on the evidence.

“National supports access to quality, high-speed broadband for all New Zealanders. National in government would not reverse the unbundling decision, because it would be unrealistic to even contemplate such a move.

“But we do want to see the Labour Government come up with some evidence as to why it thinks unbundling is the panacea for broadband development in New Zealand.

“National will want to see the results of a rigorous cost-benefit analysis which proves this measure is worth doing.

“And we want to see Telecommunications Commissioner Douglas Webb front up to the select committee and say why he recommended against it.”

Meanwhile, Dr Brash says he’s concerned the terms of reference for the State Services Commission inquiry into the leak has it being led by an in-house legal adviser, when an experienced QC usually heads such inquiries.

“How appropriate is it that a public servant be appointed to head a probe into an allegation about the leaking of sensitive Budget information by another public servant, or a political adviser in the Beehive?

“An independent person should head such inquiries, and this one is no exception, given the extreme seriousness of the leak.

“I am also concerned that it will take up to a month to complete. That seems an awfully long time given what we’ve heard, and the fact that the leaker’s identity is probably already known.”

ENDS

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