Red Alert

Archive for March, 2011

How important is our country’s soul?

Posted by on March 31st, 2011

Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. Gilbert Keith Chesterton

I came upon this quote last night on Twitter.

Twitter is part of the new mode of communication. It’s still new enough to be regarded with scepticism by some. But it has proven that it can spread news like wildfire, be a useful organising tool and help build new communities of interest, across borders.

I think those new communities are exciting and are challenging existing boundaries. I want my children to pursue the opportunities they provide. That the internet provides.

But every new community needs to be grounded by a clear understanding of its roots. From where it came. Its values.  And have faith that those values will prevail through time.

My father has quoted GK Chesterton at me all my life. Not this particular quote. But it resonates.

I am not particularly religious, despite a Catholic upbringing. But I do believe in a collective soul. Some would call it nationhood. Collective knowledge. Consciousness. Conscience.

I believe ours is at risk.

Rhetoric vs reality: preventing violence towards children “nice to have” but not essential?

Posted by on March 31st, 2011

This government talks tough about tackling crime. It talks about stopping violence towards children. It makes out it’s doing a lot. It’s big on punishment. Not so much on prevention. I was always taught that prevention was better than cure.

Behind the scenes it’s appears it could be planning to axe 45 child advocates put in place after some horrific child abuse cases in the mid 2000s in NZ to make sure that children impacted in any way by violence in their neighbourhood or community could have their needs effectively met.

A piece in the ODT today by UNICEF spells it out:

If we are serious about breaking the cycle of family violence and moving towards a generation that does not accept violence as a normalised part of family life, we must have informed advocates for children.

I guess preventing violence towards kids might be one of those non-essential “nice to have” services that Bill English says we can do without. After all you can’t really measure the acts of violence that don’t happen.

As Annette King said in her release yesterday: What’s the real story?

Filed under: children

An unfashionable media perspective

Posted by on March 30th, 2011

Simon Cunnliffe in today’s ODT has taken a look at Phil Goff’s response to the Hughes issue.

He starts :-

Pardon me for swimming against the tide, for presuming to contradict the commentariat’s bellowing consensus, but the whole Darren Hughes-Labour debacle, as it has been claimed to impact on the leadership of Phil Goff, is not quite as clear cut we would be led to believe.

And he concludes :-

Outside the beltway, Mr Goff might have received a better hearing had anyone heard what he had to say: he maintained he put the interests of “justice” and “fairness” before politics.

Insiders would say this is unconscionably naive.

Others, who are neither students of politics nor blooded on the mere whiff of scandal, might say: actually, that’s honourable.

Worth a read. Moderation will be tight.

The value of a plan….

Posted by on March 30th, 2011

It seems the label of “chokers” is being applied to the Black Caps after their sixth semi final loss at World Cup.  On the surface it does look like the big occasion gets to our lads, but for me last night and this tournament have been different. And while the players did the work on the field, a big chunk of that difference has been John Wright and Alan Donald.

The Black Caps had a plan (take note John Key/Bill English. ;-))  Nathan Astle thinks that the plan was not flexible enough.  I was just happy there was one. Batting, the plan was keeping wickets in hand, rotating the strike, hitting the bad ball and launching an assault in the last 10 overs.  Last night, it almost, almost worked.  If Styris and Williamson could have got two more overs the result might have been different.

With Alan Donald, Tim Southee and Jacob Oram looked like different bowlers, and reverse swing is now the norm.   The spinners all contributed.  Vettori rotated the bowlers expertly.   He also rotated his facial hair with style. I would love to see him stay as Captain in all forms of the game.

We did lose, but Sri Lanka are a great team, playing at home.   It took a while to get John Wright, but I really think he can be part of a great period for the Black Caps. Great effort guys.

More twaddle from Tony

Posted by on March 30th, 2011

Today saw the latest release of Tony Ryall’s statistics on the number of people employed in the public sector. Let’s recap on how these figures come about;

  • National says they will cap, but not cut the public service. (see John Key’s speech to PSA Congress 2008)
  • In order to “measure” this National creates something called “core government administration” and says that resources will go from there to the “frontline”.
  • Tony Ryall admits in Parliament that he has no definition of what “frontline” services are, and later that there are jobs in “core government administration” that might be considered frontline, and may have been cut. (think DOC rangers, Fisheries and Biosecurity officers)
  • After two years more than 1800 positions are gone, with the promise of more, and morale in the public service and public confidence in services sink further.

National Party supporters crow that this is just what is needed to reduce wasteful bureaucracy, and celebrate thousands of New Zealanders losing their jobs. Remember this is a government that supposedly has a “relentless” focus on jobs and keeping people in work. And as Bill English has told us this is just the beginning. These jobs don’t exist in a vacuum, they are linked to services we all need and use.

There is no doubt the Christchurch Earthquake showed the value of those who are “at the frontline” like the rescue workers crawling through rubble, and those who back them up, like the staff at the Ministry of Health who coordinated the moves of disabled Christchurch people and set up the emergency response network with DHBs. They are both important, and we need strong public services for all New Zealanders.

As with Tony Ryall in health this is all just slogans and manufactured targets. There is nothing here about the quality of public services New Zealanders are receiving, how they will be more responsive, innovative and linked to their communities. Just scratching a political itch. To make matters worse, he claims credit for more teachers and doctors, which a) may not actually exist and b) if they do began their training under Labour.

Lets have more efficient public services, by all means, but New Zealanders deserve better than Tony’s twaddle.

Glad government listens (very occasionally)

Posted by on March 29th, 2011

News just in from the Ministry of Health regarding the sleepovers case – where the Court of Appeal determined that disability support workers were working when they stayed over in IHC premises, and therefore should be paid minimum wage for every hour worked.

“The Government, health and disability service providers and unions have agreed to enter negotiations on payments for staff who work sleepovers in the light of the recent Court of Appeal decision. These discussions are due to start on 1 April 2011.”

Good. That’s what Labour said they should have been doing way back.  They should have saved the expense of joining the Court of Appeal case and got on with doing the right thing.

Still, better late than never.

The car washer dudes are back

Posted by on March 29th, 2011

Don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a lot more car window washers on intersections lately. My local one is back after not seeing him for years, because they mostly disappeared during the nine years of almost full employment under a Labour-led government.

But they’re back. They’re part of New Zealand’s informal economy, where in hard times, people are forced to make a living in whatever way they can because they cannot find jobs or are unable to start businesses in the formal economy.  These are part of the working poor who are working very hard but who are not recognised, recorded, protected or regulated by the government.

There’s no question that New Zealand does have an informal (or underground) economy.  The question is how big is it and is it growing?

Unfortunately, we have no idea about the size of the underground economy in New Zealand because people working in the informal economy are not registered as businesses or employees and they do not pay taxes.

But think about the workers that you see around the place.  There’s the flower and strawberry sellers on the side of the road.  There’s those who do jobs “under the table” to top up their meagre income or unemployment benefit.  There’s those who work from home and even in garages as sub-sub-sub contractors making things, sewing or putting things together, there’s those who mow the lawns, do a bit of catering on the side and there’s the street vendors selling jewellery, fake watches and sunglasses in the streets.

Increasing poverty and the growing gap between rich and poor is one of the underlying reasons for the growth of the informal economy – even in first world countries.

It is is poverty that forces people to take up unattractive jobs in the informal economy and the low incomes that such jobs yield create a vicious cycle of poverty.

It’s not good for our economy or society either.  No taxes paid, no ACC levies funded, no health and safety, no minimum wage, no other protections. 

It’s almost like the car washers are a barometer of the state of our ecconomy and the well-being of New Zealanders.  If it is, then we’re in big trouble.

Sadly, with a government with no plan for jobs, I fear I’m going to see a lot more of my local car window washer.

The media is trying to do its job

Posted by on March 29th, 2011

I have been critical in recent months about how media operates in New Zealand, it’s tendency to base news reports on ratings rather than news values, the media structures which stifle competition and how media is under-resourced to do its job adequately.

I’m also very critical of the government’s undermining of public broadcasting; its removal of the TVNZ charter, and the stifling of funding to RadioNZ. It’s likely we’ll see the demise next year of the sole surviving commerical free, and innovative  TVNZ7, our public digital channel, as a result of their indifference and neglect.

Meanwhile, showing a complete double standard, the government allowed TVNZ’s commercial rival, Mediaworks, to defer payment of $43 million for its radio spectrum licences.

As respected media commentator Peter Thompson wrote in Saturday’s DomPost

Although the Communications Minister, Steven Joyce, has argued this deferral does not constitute a loan, Mediaworks is obliged to pay 11.2 per cent interest on the deferred payment it has effectively borrowed from the Crown.

Sounds like a loan to me. And everyone else.

I think that most journalists who read Red Alert would agree that even if they violently disagree with me on some of my utterances about our media, that I tend to say what I think and believe.

There are some serious issues to be addressed. It’s not the people working in our media that are at fault. We have some very good journalists, producers,camera people, sub-editors, editors… the list goes.

I don’t like the way our news is covered sometimes. I wish we could focus more on issues that affect people, why and how they are happening  and ideas to make our country a better place.

I wish we didn’t focus so much on personality politics.

But that’s what happens. And sometimes it’s our own fault.

I believe that if we had a stronger, resourced, respected and independent public media, it would at the very least provide a strong contrast and at best a strong benchmark to the rest of media. Something to aspire to. Our democracy would be a much healthier one as a result.

I recently spent 10 days in London. The role played by the BBC and Channel 4 is enormously important in the UK. The media is diverse, dynamic and fiercely competitive. Talent abounds. There’s also tabloid, sensationalist reporting. But it’s tempered with high quality reporting and analysis. And that’s only the news. Lots to choose from.

We are a much smaller market, but we haven’t got it right. It’s not the fault of the journos. I respect their craft.

A few days ago TVNZ reported a 136% improvement in Operating Earnings for the six months to December 2010. Advertising revenues are picking up they say. CEO Rick Ellis trumpeted that ONE News had achieved its ninth consecutive month of year on year audience share growth, and on the way had picked up the Qantas Award for Best News for an unprecedented third year in a row.  In total, TVNZ won eight of the 11 News and Current Affairs awards, he said.

At the very end of the release he made this claim:

Beyond the tragedies themselves (Pike River, earthquakes), those disasters reinforced the role TVNZ plays in informing and bringing the country together and were a potent reminder to every member of the company of the responsibility and importance of what TVNZ does.

I won’t comment about the Qantas Media Awards. But I will comment on Ellis’ disingenuous remarks which are simply not borne our by the facts.

TVNZ’s priorities under National are to make a profit. Any other cultural and civic benefits are purely incidental. TV3 has done a better job of covering those disasters and they struggle to survive in the skewed and uncompetitive environment which is our broadcasting sector.

Who wants to help me fix that?

Note: To be clear. The criticism of TVNZ coverage is confined to immediately after the disasters and their ability to respond. Not to general ongoing coverage. Apologies.

Shearer steps up – Back Benches this week

Posted by on March 28th, 2011

WHY UNI?: How important is a University education? Is it needed? Is too much emphasis placed on a university education? Are those who would like to attend varsity prepared?

GET A JOB: Is the whole point of a university education to get a job or is it to create a more well-rounded individual? Does today’s workforce require a tertiary degree? Are we preparing our students for the work force? Are there jobs for our graduates? Should our universities be more specialized with the degrees they offer?

LIVE pub politics from the Backbencher Pub: Wednesday, 30TH of March. 9pm with drinking from about 7.30pm The Panel: ACT MP Heather Roy, Green MP Keith Locke, Labour MP David Shearer, and National MP Katrina Shanks.

Hooton on iPredict this week

Posted by on March 28th, 2011


This week’s snapshot from New Zealand’s prediction market, iPredict, suggests Phil Goff remains favoured to stay Leader of the Labour Party through to the General Election, although the probability he may be rolled has increased significantly from 10% last week to 42% at the time of this week’s snapshot. Meanwhile, John Key continues to be strongly favoured to remain Prime Minister and could govern alone if Act’s Rodney Hide fails to win Epsom for his party.

Recession fears have again eased. The market strongly believes that there will be negative growth in the March 2011 quarter, with just a 12% probability Statistics New Zealand will report growth above 0% for that quarter and only a 52% probability growth will be above -0.5% for the quarter. Nevertheless, a recession is not expected, with the market indicated just a 22% probability the economy will be in recession in the June 2011 quarter, down from 35% last week, 40% the week before and 45% three weeks ago. Recession expectations for the September and December 2011 quarters are also down to 14% (from 18% last week) and 12% (down from 14% last week) respectively.

Inflation expectations are slightly up compared with last week. Annual inflation is expected to be 4.6% for the March quarter, compared with 4.5% for the last three weeks. For the June quarter, expectations are unchanged this week: annual inflation is expected to be 5.3%, steady compared with the last two weeks. Annual inflation in the September quarter is expected to be 5.0%.

Big petrol price rises continue to be forecast, although there continues to be (more…)

Filed under: ipredict

Here’s what matters

Posted by on March 28th, 2011

My last port of call was a grandmother raising two children whose mother died in tragic circumstances.

She gave me a huge smile, welcomed me in and offered a cup of coffee. We all enjoy positive feedback; here’s someone doing a fantastic job, day in and day out, raising children in her mid-sixties, with very little recognition or support.

Her grandchildren were polite and helpful. The house while crowded was clean. Grandma and the children live in a small state house in Avonside. The smell of sewerage permeates the air; portaloos dot the street. She walks with difficulty. Her nearest mall, Eastgate, is yet to reopen so it’s either been the local shop – expensive – or a taxi trip to the closest open supermarket – expensive.

She says she’s not yet had a visit from anyone and I believe her, though this would be unusual. She’s not angry at anyone, nor really asking for assistance. My visit was sparked by her son dropping in earlier to the caravan that is my makeshift portable electorate office.

I gave her a hug and $50 in food vouchers (courtesy of Katherine Rich and the Grocery Council) and started plugging her into some other assistance, including, hopefully, funding to allow her and the children go get away on a break out of Christchurch. 

My point? No one in Avonside seems much focussed on a Beltway ‘scandal’ where even Michael Laws, writing in the Sunday Star Times  says the media have replaced the courts. The same paper also reported how our television channels have joined forces to take on the Broadcasting Standards Authority’s attempts to rein-in increasing sexuality on television; their lawyer argues the recent soft-porn series Hung was  ‘serious drama.’

A 6.3 earthquake changes your view of what is a scandal, what constitutes serious drama and what actually matters.

Filed under: Television

Making a List

Posted by on March 27th, 2011

Over the last few weekends six Labourr Party regions have been meeting to put together their input into the Labour Party list for the November election.

In Wellington we did it in one day, but during the fortnight before candidates addressed meetings in each of the electorates.

On the day each candidate (including all local MPs) make a speech and are the subjected to a pretty robust Q + A session.

The voting is by exhaustive (and exhausting) ballot. In our case to win a particular spot candidates had to get 49 votes because there were 97 voting delegates (one delegate for each 50 members). The bottom candidate drops out and then we vote again.

In our case we had to send in 14 names to the moderating committee, a group of about 30, effectively an augmented New Zealand council, which makes up the final list.

Names and local results confidential but we will know overall results in a couple of weeks.

But one thing is for certain the number of bright, mainly young, people with a wide variety of backgrounds that I’ve met from three of the regions shows that the party renewal and summer school programmes have been working well.

Again this post will be tightly moderated – including bans with no further notice. Frankly I’ve been disappointed with a few comments over the last four days.

Where is the plan?

Posted by on March 27th, 2011

Lloyd Morrison is a great source of thought provoking material. Today he has circulated Losing our way from Bob Herbert of the New York Times.

There is plenty of economic activity in the U.S., and plenty of wealth. But like greedy children, the folks at the top are seizing virtually all the marbles. Income and wealth inequality in the U.S. have reached stages that would make the third world blush. As the Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received an unconscionable 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion.

Filed under: inequality

What we all should be talking about

Posted by on March 27th, 2011

In the middle of the night our time, somewhere between a quarter and a half a million people marched through London to express their frustration and fear about the impact of huge cuts in the public service.

Most are unglamorous, obscure, unfeted projects, staffed by employees who are not very well paid, but hugely committed to what they do. All of these losses come as a result of the government’s decision to cut spending by £95bn over five years.

Our government has been steadily making cuts since they took office. Most are unglamourous, unfeted projects. Most of the people affected are the already disaffected.

There’s been a steady campaign by the government to build a picture of a public service which is bloated and inefficient.

And to build a picture of the recipients of public services especially beneficiaries, as being rip off merchants. People who didn’t deserve the help anyway. Or should be standing on their own two feet by themselves.

Now we face the prospect of a zero budget. Just think how many more jobs will go, how many more services will be cut, how many more older people will be colder and left to cope on their own. How many more small children in families with low or no incomes will go without a meal, a new pair of shoes, access to a computer at home, while their parents can’t afford the school uniform, the school trips, the essential trips to the doctor, let alone a holiday.

There are no new jobs on the horizon. There are no new industries. There are no really good ideas that people can latch onto and think “this is our future” “I get what this is about”.

There is no hope.

Meanwhile our front pages are full of finger pointing and rotten egg throwing at the latest scapegoat in a political scandal.

My country matters. My electorate matters. I’ve got people who need jobs, who need to know they have a future. I want to give them hope.


Posted by on March 27th, 2011

What Clare says

And having an accident and being full of pain killing drugs means that I am taking a bit of extra care as well.

As some of you know I write my posts pretty quickly – sometimes having thought carefully about an issue and sometimes not.

This break has meant I have an accumulation of posts in my head. Some are old issues, some current, some new and some just idiosyncratic.

They include:-
1. More on why we really had a by-election in Botany.
2. How Finlayson misled the Supreme Court.
3. The real level of the UFB subsidy to Telecom
4. How the cost of living is now hitting upper middle income earners.
5. What is the definition of well off these days.
6. The lost opportunity to develop trades esp building skills in 2011.
7. Who ends up owning privatised SOEs.
8. Will kids born in 2009 be worse educated than those before ?
9. We have to do something about primary care costs to free up hospitals EDs.
10. Why do we risk our meat exports by privatising inspection?
11. How to destroy teacher professional development.

Filed under: Red Alert

Gutted and grieving

Posted by on March 26th, 2011

Red Alert is the voice of Labour MPs. Lately we’ve been a bit quiet and you can imagine why.

Gutted is the word to describe how we’re feeling right now. Darren was a valued member of caucus, our Whip. A very talented and witty man. Popular. Dedicated to Labour.

Grieving is what we’re doing right now. So give us a bit of latitude. We’ll be back, strong and focussed.

Comments will be tightly moderated.

Filed under: politics

Where’s the Minister of Disability Issues (Tariana Turia) on the IHC workers issue?

Posted by on March 25th, 2011

Prior to becoming a Labour MP I spent six months as Project Manager of the Pacific non-regulated health workforce development research project (I’d also been part of this workforce many years ago – when I worked as a caregiver in a geriatric hospital whilst studying).  The focus of this project was entirely on the Manukau/ Counties DHB area and Pacific workers.  The roles that these workers were undertaking were varied (everything from Health Promotion to caregiving) but the biggest proportion of this workforce could be found in caregiving positions.  Not suprisingly this is a highly feminised and low paid workforce.  Although our focus was solely on Pacific, it would be reasonable for me to assert that across the country a large proportion of this workforce would be – Pacific, New Migrant and Maori women. 

Now with all of the above in mind – I think it is reasonable to expect that Tariana, would have a keen interest in seeing this workforce treated fairly – not only as the Minister of Disability Issues but as a Maori women.  So what concerns me, is we haven’t heard a peep out of her.  Tony Ryall has made comments about the situation but seems to think that the responsibility lays solely with the providers – washing his hands of any Governmnent responsibility. 

The National Government’s refusal to back a decision by the Court of Appeal which would ensure workers who perform sleepovers are paid the minimum wage has let down thousands of disability support workers.  If you let down the workforce, then you are also ultimately letting down the people that they are employed to care for.

As my colleage Darien Fenton has publically said – What the Government should have done, is meet with the stakeholders in the disability support sector, including the carer’s union, immediately after the Court of Appeal decision to neogtiate a durable solution.

It is obvious that Tariana has shamefully abdicated responsibility for the disability sector, along with her Government but I still want to know what Tariana has to say on this issue.  I’ve just fired some written questions off to her.  Will post on this again when I get some responses.

Economy Stuck in a Rut

Posted by on March 24th, 2011

Near-zero gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the December 2010 quarter prove how badly the New Zealand economy is stuck in a rut.

Treasury and the Reserve Bank had both forecast zero growth for the quarter. I have taken the view that was about right and that minor variation either side would not change the story.

It doesn’t. Today’s 0.2% is within a shade of that, and is still subject to revision.

The big picture is that the economy is going nowhere because National has no plan.

A breakdown of the statistics is instructive – wholesale trade is down, retail is down, accommodation and restaurants are down, confirming the message that businesses in New Zealand towns and cities have been giving us — that for them 2010 was even worse than 2009.

Cost of living pressures were also clear.  Goods and services purchased by Kiwi households are almost flat even though prices rose 2.3 percent in the December quarter alone.  This shows Kiwi families are hard hit by the rising cost of living and are having to tighten their belts month by month.

There is no good news on the external side either. Imports rose faster than exports, and the fastest-rising export, raw logs, effectively represents exporting Kiwi processing jobs along with the timber.

Kiwi families and firms are borrowing more than ever before to stay afloat, and the Reserve Bank says this will continue until 2013.

Bill English is presiding over an old-fashioned slump, and clearly has no idea what to do about it.

Last week he wanted to put the whole cost of the earthquake on the country’s credit card, but Prime Minister John Key rolled him a few days later when announcing a zero budget this year.

Economics 101 says that savage budget cuts in the middle of a deep recession will only put more people out of work, undermine confidence, reduce demand and drive down tax flows.

 This isn’t a plan. It’s a recipe for continuing economic failure.

A tale of two Ministers

Posted by on March 24th, 2011

Simon Power and Steven Joyce.

Both have been named as possible future leaders. They have portfolios which cross over. They have very different styles of operating.

In the last two and a bit years, I’ve had experience of dealing with both.

And I’m sorry that Simon Power is leaving Parliament, because he’s a much better political operator. If you want legislation that’s robust and effective.

Just speculating, but I wonder whether he’s leaving at least partly because, as a bloke with some principles and integrity, even if I don’t agree with much of his political platform, he can’t stomach the National Party’s political agenda as we go into the election.

As a relatively new MP I try to watch and learn a bit about how to do the craft of politics effectively.

Winning your seat and winning elections are pretty damn important. But so is good policy and good laws.

I’ve dealt with Simon Power directly on two pieces of legislation; the Copyright Amendment Bill and the rewrite of Patent Law.  I’ve found him to be a man of intelligence and principle, who’s able to compromise and who listens to industry concerns and reads the political, economic environment while attempting to understand how technology changes have fundamentally influenced human behaviour and our economic environment.

How important innovation and genuine competition is for New Zealand’s future; and how important it is not to stifle it.

And then there’s Steven Joyce. I wont say too much, other than to say; he may be clever, but arrogance and tunnel vision aren’t a good combination.

I wonder whether Simon Power, as a shareholding Minister in Crown Fibre Holdings, was consulted about the impact of the Telco Bill on the regulatory powers of the Commerce Commission.

I wonder whether Simon agrees that the Minister of Communications and IT be given such unfettered powers over the new fibre network.

And I wonder whether Simon has concerns at the strength of the industry response against the impact of this new legislation and Joyce’s broadband policy which will mean higher prices and less choice for consumers on broadband for a decade.

Joyce doesn’t care. He’s impervious. His style is pure paternalism. ” It’s true because I say it is and don’t argue with me because I know best.”

Welcome to the Daddy State.

It’s a dog

Posted by on March 23rd, 2011

Why should we have to wait until 2019 to get ultrafast broadband on fibre?

While in the meantime, we get to pay more for our copper-based services, which won’t improve during that time?

The Bill that Steven Joyce is rushing through parliament will see a price hike of at least five dollars a month on the average phone and broadband bill for many consumers. The effect of his new law is to re-average prices for the current copper based broadband services which means the price of broadband delivered over copper will increase in urban areas by more than 20 percent.

And, it will stifle competition in the copper market, while the vast majority of Kiwis will not be able to access fibre for up to a decade.

As if Kiwis didn’t have enough to worry about with hikes in food, electricity and petrol prices, they now face artificially increased prices for their broadband and phone while the Government presses through with its ill-advised telco laws and hands enormous powers to the Communications Minister as well as to New Zealand’s biggest telco, Telecom.

And, if I read Juha Saarinen right in the NZ Herald today, when we do get fibre, it may very well be much less than what the government said we’d get. Juha somehow got hold of Crown Fibre Holding’s wholesale pricings for fibre.

He said:

Despite the government’s promise that New Zealanders will receive at least 100Mpbs downloads and 50Mbps uploads on the fibre-optic network that will cost tax payers $1.5 billion, the price book shows that the entry-level service runs at more modest 30Mbps downstream and 10Mbps upstream.

Today’s broadband over the country’s ageing copper phone network provides up to 15Mbps downloads and 800kbps uploads.

So Steven Joyce says we’ll all get ultrafast broadband in our homes. By the end of 2019. He says we’ll get 100Mpbs. But it looks as though we’ll get 30Mbps. He says he doesn’t care what the industry thinks, he only cares about consumers.

And yet those consumers will have to pay more for their existing copper based broadband. Possibly until the end of 2019.

Even David Farrar on Kiwiblog thinks it’s questionable. He doesn’t say it’s a dog. But I reckon he thinks it.

How can we progress as a country if we can’t get broadband right? The only organisation supporting the Government’s new laws are Telecom. I wonder why that is?

They’d be wise to have a bit of a rethink on their position.

At some point Steven Joyce might realise he’s the only one in the room.