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Alliance's Backward Telecoms Policy

Alliance plans to regulate the Telecommunications industry would bring an end to many benefits New Zealanders now enjoy, Communications Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

"Since 1991, the Statistics New Zealand residential telephone services price index has declined by 30 percent in real terms. This is due to our light-handed regulatory regime which has led to a number of new players entering the industry," said Mr Williamson.

"Heavy regulation would merely stifle investment and lead to an end to the many benefits New Zealanders now enjoy such as a 60 percent reduction in toll call prices since 1991 and ever increasing newer and more efficient technologies."

"The Alliance says regulation would be a priority for a centre-left Government, but Labour refuse to comment on the policy. Helen Clark must tell New Zealand voters whether this is correct and Labour agrees with these plans after it sold Telecom during its last term in office."

"Our light-handed regulatory regime where we are tightening up the Commerce Act, have toughened up on the Telecommunications Information Disclosure regime and introduced an independent number administration deed, must be retained to maintain and increase competition in the Telecommunications market. Our policy has led to heavy price reductions and far more players in the industry.

ENDS

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