The cities of Hamilton, Tauranga, Whangarei, New Plymouth and Wanganui will be among the first to benefit from the government’s rollout of ultra-fast broadband (UFB), says the Minister for Communications and Information Technology Steven Joyce.
In addition, UFB will be rolled out in Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Hawera and Tokoroa.So, what does this look like by electorates? UFB will be rolled out to:
- Whangarei, held by National’s Phil Heatley, with a majority of 14,663;
- Hamilton East, held by National’s David Bennett with a majority of 8,820;
- Hamilton West, held by National’s Tim Macindoe, with a majority of 1,618;
- Taupo, held by National’s Louise Upston, with a majority of 6,445;
- Taranaki-King Country, held by National’s Shane Ardern, with a majority of 15,618;
- Tauranga, held by National’s Simon Bridges, with a majority of 11,742;
- New Plymouth, held by National’s Jonathan Young, with a majority of 105;
- Whanganui, held by National’s Chester Borrows, with a majority of 6,333.
So, the first thing to note is that only National-held electorates get broadband; those with Labour MPs need not apply (sorry, you voted for the wrong person and so must be punished). The second thing to note is the targeting of marginal seats New Plymouth and Hamilton West. It’d be interesting if someone who knew about IT policy used the OIA to delve into National’s rollout decision, but from here it looks like pure pork-barrel politics. And I don’t like it one bit.
I don’t know if there’s anything in this. But on the face of it, it doesn’t look so good. The third agreement, which was expected to be announced with those above would have covered Timaru, held by National’s Jo Goodhew.
Steven Joyce is a crafty fellow. But even he will overplay his hand one of these days.
Think it’s good that a decision’s finally been made to lay out some fibre. The people in those towns will be pleased. Not sure they’ll be able to afford it though. And what about the rest of New Zealand?
Steven Joyce is unable to guarantee that the major agreements will be finalised before the next election!
Oh and before David Farrar at Kiwiblog has a go and points out that Labour holds only Palmerston North of the general electorates outside the metropolitan centres, that’s true. But it would have been smart for the government to think about this. Instead it doesn’t look so good. Given that Steven Joyce couldn’t guarantee that the rest of the deals could be finalised before next year’s election.
The plot thickens.
Must have got under David Farrar’s skin