Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Telecom Needs To Show Discretion, Says Roy

Telecom Needs To Show Discretion, Says Roy

Invercargill MP Eric Roy is hoping Telecom will re-visit a controversial change to their community sponsorship programme in light of the financial stress it is causing community groups nation-wide.

Mr Roy said Telecom changed from its Voluntary Welfare Organisation Sponsorship (VWOS) to a Community Connection Regional Programme earlier this year. Community groups could apply for sponsorship to offset telecommunications costs.

“I have been approached by a number of not-for-profit groups with concerns about the increased costs they have to absorb as a result of this change,” Mr. Roy said.

“Under VWOS, these groups did not pay for local calls. Under CCRP, one group has already received a monthly bill which includes nearly $200 for local calls. Over a year, this new cost will have an impact on their ability to deliver their much-needed service, which already runs on an extremely small budget.”

Mr Roy said he had written to Telecom, and received a reply which acknowledged “that some organisations may be disadvantaged”, but deigned to make changes to the programme. He has since written to Telecom chair Wayne Boyd to see if Mr. Boyd can assist community groups under budget pressure as a result of the change.

“It is not just a Southland issue. National community organisations are finding similar problems with this scheme all over New Zealand. Having to pay for local calls is not offset by other elements of the sponsorship and is actually going to cause some real problems,” he said.

“Some groups are already talking about picketing Telecom offices and switching to other telecommunications providers – it’s not a good look for the company.”

Mr Roy said groups who had approached him were grateful for the sponsorship, but the change to charging for local calls would have a critical impact on their valuable work and threaten their viability.

“Telecom did undertake consultation before bringing these changes in, but it illustrates that things that look good in theory often aren’t as flash in practice. I hope for the sake of these community groups that Telecom decides to exercise discretion and find a way to remove these extra costs,” he said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news