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Govt shutting down more bad broadband news



Communications and IT Spokesperson

6 September 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT

Govt shutting down more bad broadband news

The Government quickly stepped in to make sure Transfield’s paid its subcontractors in an attempt to stamp out more bad news about its ultrafast broadband programme, Labour’s Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.

“The Government is right to demand subcontractors – who are believed to be owed between $5 and $10 million from Transfield for laying out broadband fibre – will get paid, but cracks are appearing in the fibre roll-out.

“Hundreds of frontline broadband workers have been affected along with subcontractors; one is owed $2 million, another $1 million and a further subcontractor had to mortgage his house.

“This is simply unacceptable on a major Government contract.

“Crown Fibre Holdings -- the Crown Entity managing the distribution of taxpayer funds to infrastructure companies such as Chorus and Hamilton’s Ultrafast Fibre -- must be more accountable for ensuring more than $1 billion of taxpayer funding ends up where it is supposed to.

“The broadband scheme is already under high scrutiny as the Government attempts to intervene in the existing copper network to drive prices higher than they should be, in order to push people into fibre connections.

“The Government must ensure New Zealand workers laying out the network continue to get paid. Transfield’s ability to suddenly find the money it owes and guarantee to pay the subcontractors within 48 hours raises the questions about how this situation arose in the first place,” Clare Curran says.


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