Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Govt does not go far enough with "unbundling"

Thursday 4 May, 2006

Government does not go far enough with "unbundling" Telecom

The Government has not gone far enough with its "unbundling" proposal to deal with Telecom’s monopoly ownership of the telephone lines, says Alliance Co-leader Len Richards.

Mr Richards says the Alliance agrees with the separation of the telephone lines from Telecom’s broadband business, but says the "local loop" lines should then be brought back under public ownership.

"Monopoly ownership has allowed Telecom to gouge monopoly profits since it was privatised in 1990 by the infamous Rogernomics Labour Government of the day," he says.

When Telecom won the 2005 CAFCA Roger award for the worst multi- national, financial analyst Sue Newberry showed Telecom was making over 25 per cent annual returns on its New Zealand assets year after year.

"This is why telephone line and mobile call charges are so high in this country – to keep Telecom’s shareholders rubbing their hands when the $800 million profit is paid out each year," says Mr Richards.

He says the way to stop this is to put this essential infrastructure asset under public ownership and control so it delivers an efficient, modern service at the cheapest possible cost to its customers.

"The National Party is defending Telecom’s monopoly position, saying that the 'market' should be left to decide if, how and when broadband technology should be delivered."

"This is like saying the weather should be left to decide which homes are washed away by floods, or the fox should be left in charge of the chickens. National believes this will deliver the best outcomes for New Zealand," he says. “As the ads say – yeah right!”

Telecom’s success in preventing any real competition, along with its deliberate strategy of paying out maximum dividends rather than investing in the development of modern broadband infrastructure gives lie to that argument.

Mr Richards says that since 1986 when privatisation of state-owned assets began, New Zealand has been gold-rush territory for big capitalist concerns.

"The strategy of these largely foreign investors is one of 'pump and dump' – pump the profits out and dump the asset after the vampire urges of these asset strippers is satiated. Then the next lot moves in to take their share – and precious little of the promised private capital investment that we were promised by the promoters of privatisation has ever occurred. Instead New Zealand’s vital transport, energy, communications and other economic infrastructure has been degraded to crisis point in many cases."

The Alliance (www.alliance.org.nz) policy is to return all this vital infrastructure to public ownership, Mr Richards stressed.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The RWC, And The Op Burnham Inquiry

Testimony was given that damning evidence had been culpably ignored, lost or (deliberately?) mislaid. The systems for handling secret material from our allies were – to be charitable – only loosely observed.

Moreover… vital evidence was only belatedly made available to the inquiry, and former NZDF officers later found to be central to the events under scrutiny were strangely missing from the original witness list offered by NZDF. In short, last week’s cross-examination of the military’s former top brass demonstrated in detail that the NZDF had consistently misled its Ministers (and the wider public) for years, over the impact of our military activities in Afghanistan. More>>

 
 

Call For Action On Expert Panel Report: Welfare System Needs Urgent Change

If we want New Zealand to be the best place in the world to be a child, the Government needs to increase benefits, remove sanctions, individualise benefits, and fix abatement rates now, says Child Poverty Action Group and ActionStation . More>>

ALSO:

First Data Releases: Mixed External Report On Census Fail Mitigation

The panel endorses the statistical approaches used to mitigate non-response... However, the unprecedented use of alternative government datasets to augment census data raises questions around ethics, social licence, cultural licence, and Māori data sovereignty. More>>

ALSO:

Aitches: Manawatū-Whanganui Region Spelling Corrected

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region will in future be correctly spelt Manawatū-Whanganui Region. The change also means the regional council will be known as the Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Council. Horizons Regional Council is the trading name for the council. More>>

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels