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Winner Of Roger Award For The Worst Transnational

2 May 2005

TELECOM

WINNER OF ROGER AWARD FOR THE WORST TRANSNATIONAL

CORPORATION IN NEW ZEALAND IN 2004

CONTACT ENERGY 2ND; ERNSLAW ONE 3RD;

GOVT– SPECIAL AWARD FOR PROTECTION OF PROFIT & PRIVILEGE


The full 18 page Judges' Report, including a Financial Analysis, is attached as a PDF. It will also be online at www.cafca.org.nz from midnight tonight.

The seven 2004 finalists were: Ernslaw One, McDonalds, Telecom, Westpac, Toll, Mitsubishi, and Contact Energy. The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational that has the most negative impact in New Zealand in each or all of the following fields: unemployment, monopoly, profiteering, abuse of workers/conditions, political interference, environmental damage, cultural imperialism, impact on tangata whenua, running an ideological crusade, tax dodging, impact on women, impact on health and safety of workers, and the public.

The judges were: John Minto, veteran Auckland activist and National Chairperson of the Quality Public Education Coalition; Alister Barry, documentary maker, of Wellington; Maire Leadbeater, a veteran peace and social justice activist, from Auckland; and Edwina Hughes, the coordinator of Peace Movement Aotearoa, in Wellington. For full details of the Roger Award, go to www.cafca.org.nz and follow the Links. The Roger Award is organised by the Christchurch-based groups, Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa and GATT Watchdog and is supported by Christian World Service. Previous winners: Tranz Rail (three times), Juken Nissho, Carter Holt Harvey, Monsanto and TransAlta.

To quote the Judges’ Report, Telecom won because: "The massive profit figures which this company posts year by year are a national scandal... This is a company whose name is a byword for the failure of privatisation. It is the largest community parasite in New Zealand and its stifling, negative impact cannot be underestimated… Telecom has betrayed the trust and hopes placed in it to run our telephone and telecommunications systems…This is a friendless, rapacious company with well established and unmediated parasitical practices".

Contact was the runner-up primarily because it "has run an ideological campaign against Kyoto (Treaty) and the use of renewable energy sources… running a crusade to convince the public that coal-fired power stations are the only option for a secure future energy supply… responsible for environmental damage and wilful negligence regarding health and safety of the community" (in Waikato and Taranaki). Ernslaw One came third because it "is having a big impact on workers – Maori on the East Coast especially – with thousands of job losses projected… impact on health and safety of the public - based on their proposal for a sawmilling complex near Whangapoua Harbour (Coromandel)". The judges awarded the Government a Special Roger Award for Protection of Profit and Privilege: "It seemed clear that if we were to have a government focussed on the protection of people and the environment, rather than on protecting corporate profit making then there may be no need for the Roger Award".

Murray Horton, for the organisers

ENDS


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