Editorials praise Minister

April 2nd, 2008 at 12:19 pm by David Farrar

Tuesday’s Dom Post Editorial praises for the split of :

The changes are a credit to Mr Cunliffe, who has done what no communications minister before him has done despite overwhelming evidence that Telecom was using its control of the fixed line network to advantage shareholders and unfairly disadvantage rivals and customers. …

The new board and new chief executive, Paul Reynolds, have adopted a more constructive approach to dealing with other industry players and the Government.

That is a welcome development. But the lesson of the Telecom experiment should never be forgotten.

Governments should not sell monopolies unless they are able to regulate to protect the national interest. The failure of successive governments to do so, has cost consumers hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars and set back infrastructural development several years.

And today The Press also devotes an editorial to it:

Telecom had no real choice but to accept the separation agreement, albeit after some to-ing and fro-ing over the detail with David Cunliffe, the Communications Minister. Cunliffe, who is fast emerging as a Cabinet go-getter in both his communications and health portfolios, made it clear that he wanted the agreement with Telecom to be robust and he appears to have achieved this. …

But the separation also presents new opportunities, especially through growth in its wholesale business as new retailers enter the market. If the company can grasp these opportunities, then separation could produce a triple win result, for Telecom, its competitors and, most importantly, for New Zealand consumers.

The editorials speak for themselves.

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16 Responses to “Editorials praise Minister”

  1. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Cunliffe for PM!

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  2. george (398 comments) says:

    Cunliffe has done well. He has only destroyed $4 billion of shareholder value to get himself these editorials – a small price to pay.

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  3. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Whats $4 billion dollar’s matter when it is someone else’s money. Thats the thing with socialist thinking, the only money that matters is their own, anyone elses is fair game.

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  4. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    My respect for the Dom and the Press just took a dive – no credible newspaper would be giving free publicity to a totalitarian, esp. in an election year.

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  5. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Well it seems that it was either $4 billion of shareholder value (“using its control of the fixed line network to advantage shareholders and unfairly disadvantage rivals and customers. …”) or a decent go at it for the vast majority of NZers who are not Telecom shareholders. What’s the problem with the editorials, exactly?

    Maybe we should ban editorials, esp. in election year.

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  6. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    That last line meant: ‘why shouldn’t a newspaper editorial venture an opinion?’…ha

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  7. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    Well, you could criticise Labour for taking so long. Since that’s not really Cunliffe’s fault, good on the editorials for giving some credit to someone who’s doing their job well.

    And good on the DomPost for saying what needs to be said plainly: “Governments should not sell monopolies unless they are able to regulate to protect the national interest.” The superior performance of airports, etc, in Australia where the regulation of natural monopolies is heavier underlines this point.

    And finally, good on DPF for bringing these gems to our attention!

    Disclaimer: On a personal level I find Cunliffe to be overly smarmy. At least he doesn’t model himself so closely on Bill Clinton these days.

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  8. baxter (893 comments) says:

    Ever since the Tyrant voiced her displeasure at the media failing to promote her party they have one by one fallen into line and resumed their normal obeisance. Lets hope she meets the same fate as her soulmate MUGABE.

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  9. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    Rule for 27 years?

    Disclaimer: No, I don’t think that it is a good thing that Mugabe has been in power for 27 years.

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  10. Jack5 (4,220 comments) says:

    Cunliffe would have fitted nicely into Mugabe’s cabinet.

    The honourable an correct right way to sort out the Telecom monopoly problem was to buy back the copper network as the Government did with the rail network.

    Cunliffe has trampled on the property rights of tens of thousands of mum and dad investors. And not so much in the interest of everyday Kiwis as Telecom competitors big and small who euphemistically describe themselves as “users”.

    Let’s see now whether the Telecommunications regulatory bureaucracy works for ordinary Kiwi users or for Telecom’s competitors.

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  11. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Can’t it work for both?

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  12. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Is this where the “Kiwiblog Right” lives? Mugabe, socialists, tyrants and totalitarians…jeez

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  13. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    Stephen, In this instance, as with the other natural monopolies that have been privatised, there is no recognition by the “kiwiblog right” that the use of heavier rather than lighter regulation might make a difference. Granted these are complex issues, but it is very difficult to debate these issues with people whose understanding of the issues is so black and white, if not downright loopy.

    I noted to a friend in London who is intimate with the political scene there that kiwiblog is infested with people who cite/link to Ann Coutler, the Heritage Foundation, Weekly Standard, etc, etc. He responded that it hasn’t worked quite the same with the Tories there, and that the NZ right political culture has indeed grown very weird.

    Somebody should do a study of the influence of the US loony right on NZ’s right-wing activists.

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  14. Jack5 (4,220 comments) says:

    On reading Jafapete’s comment: “I noted to a friend in London who is intimate with the political scene …”

    The terms effete, pompous, arrogant, narcissistic leap to the mind.

    Jafapete shoud write to Cunliffe. He’ll probably give him a job as a media-release hack.

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  15. jafapete (766 comments) says:

    No thanks. Worked in the Beehive once, a long time ago. Got out of Wellington as fast as I could. Terrible place, although it has improved in recent years (refer recent thread on arts funding). Certainly wouldn’t work for Cunliffe, who as I have noted elsewhere I find overly smarmy.

    Thanks for the compliments though. But you forgot supercilious.

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  16. kiki (425 comments) says:

    As a loony activist who doesn’t believe that the government should be stealing peoples property I can tell you that the loony US right has had very little influence on me.

    My influence was Phil bolger, Che, Fisk and lots of history books as well as roger Douglas. From all this I came to the conclusion that freedom is the ultimate driver of ideas and growth.

    How does this work with a monopoly like telecom well other telecom competitors pay levies and fees so that everyone in NZ pays the same telephone line rental. Any competitor has to pay their share if this was removed competitors could trim their costs right down for their target markets such as urban areas telecom would have to follow so cheaper phone rental in urban areas would be created.

    In the rural areas the costs would go up but this would create opportunities for other companies with different technologies as people look around for substitutes.

    So the end result is opportunities for companies and cheaper phones and services for a majority. Yes some people would lose but the innovative ideas that would appear with the opportunities and cheap urban phone charges would far outweigh the loses.

    Government interference is more likely to protect the status quo either in technology and/or businesses and these are usually the same old people that those on the left claim to despise.

    Freedom allows new companies to grow not just try to prune the old trees

    And as for that stupid term right wing as I keep saying there are those that are for freedom and those that are not. Right wing and left wing are just different ends of the same stick that is used to beat the people I don’t believe in sticks

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