Steven Joyce has lied.
Will it get brushed under the carpet this time and ignored?
I put in a set of written questions to Steven Joyce in late 2009 about his, and his govt’s intentions, re the structural separation of Telecom regarding the ultrafast broadband scheme. In October 2009 he responded.
This answer is particularly interesting:
15840 (2009). Clare Curran to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology (23 Oct 2009): What correspondence, if any, has he recieved or sent, listed by correspondent and date, about possible structural separation of Telecom
Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Communications and Information Technology) replied: I have not received or sent any correspondence about possible structural separation of Telecom.
Yet two months earlier, in August 2009, Joyce received a letter from Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds referring to previous meetings with the Minister between himself and Telecom regarding the UFB, referring to Telecom’s potential involvement in the project, referring to constructive discussions and his “understanding that the government has a preference for Telecom to voluntarily offer to structurally separate”
Dr Reynolds sought a further discussion with Steven Joyce on this issue which he described as “extremely significant for us”.
So in August 2009, well before the tender was announced for the UFB, Telecom was raising structural separation with the government, which it understood was the government’s preference.
Meanwhile, Steven Joyce maintained there were no such discussions. He maintained that pretence for two years, right throughout the legislative changes which will preside over the structural separation. He got his spokesperson yesterday to say that Paul Reynolds was incorrect.
Joyce only released the letter this week after consistent pressure from the Dompost. Good on them.
But for how long will he get away with lying? Why are there not more questions being asked?
What else did he cover up? What other discussions were there with telecom about structural separation and how it would work?
The UFB tender process is a fraud and should be investigated.
Lying is not okay by government ministers.
Or is it?