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Roger Award: Telecom Wins; BAT & Spotless 2nd

Roger Award: Telecom Wins; BAT & Spotless Joint Runners Up; Whanganui DHB Wins First Accomplice Award

  • Telecom Wins Roger Award For The Worst Transnational Corporation Operation In NZ In 2007
  • British American Tobacco & Spotless Joint Runners Up
  • Whanganui DHB First Winner Of Accomplice Award
  • The finalists: ANZ; APN News & Media; British American Tobacco; GlaxoSmithKline; Independent Liquor; Pike River Coal; Spotless and Telecom. The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation which is 25% or more foreign-owned) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: Economic Dominance - Monopoly, profiteering, tax dodging, cultural imperialism. People - Unemployment, impact on tangata whenua, impact on women, impact on children, abuse of workers/conditions, health and safety of workers and the public, cultural imperialism. Environment Environmental damage, abuse of animals. Political interference - Cultural imperialism, running an ideological crusade.

    The judges were: Laila Harre, from Auckland, National Secretary of the National Distribution Union and former Cabinet Minister; Anton Oliver, of France, former All Black and environmentalist; Geoff Bertram, from Wellington, Victoria University economist; Brian Turner, from Christchurch, President of the Methodist Church and social justice activist; Paul Corliss, from Christchurch, a life member of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union and Cee Payne-Harker, from Dunedin, Industrial Services Manager for the NZ Nurses’ Organisation and health issues activist. The winner will be announced at an event in Christchurch tonight.

    To quote the Judges’ Statement: “After looking as though the company would finally come to terms with regulation in the public interest, the year 2007 saw yet another round of delaying tactics, the Xtra debacle that stranded customers in cyberspace, the cabinetisation project which undermines the potential for local loop unbundling to deliver competition, an obscene $5.4 million final year payment to outgoing Chief Executive Officer Theresa Gattung, the scrapping of concessions for non-government organisations and the School Connection scheme. These sins and more ensured Telecom was in top form in this race for the worst transnational in NZ in 2007.

    "Far from taking heart from the appointment of a new soft-sell CEO, the judging panel has heard too many Telecom promises of co-operation to feel anything but dismayed at the confidence the Government is placing in UK import Paul Reynolds”.

    The judges described Spotless as “a company prepared to destabilise the public health system, to illegally lock out and further impoverish minimum wage workers and their families, to create insecurity and fear among NZ patients, and to coopt a few elected District Health Board members to boot… If there was an award for the stupidest TNC in NZ in 2007 it would have been no contest”.

    Of joint runner up British American Tobacco: “Smoking is responsible for more preventable deaths than anything else, and BAT is the worst culprit in New Zealand”. In giving the first Accomplice Award to the Whanganui DHB for its role in backing Spotless against its lowpaid hospital workers, they said: “We recognise not only their 2007 services to overseas profiteering on poor health and public money in NZ, but also the leading role they have played in the creation of Public Private Partnerships through the extensive contracting out of core hospital services with a consequent reduction in quality, loyalty and dignity for patients and workers alike”.

    Murray Horton

    Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa
    Box 2258, Christchurch, New Zealand


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