Labour’s Comms & ICT policies

July 25th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

I think it is a sign that the Government is doing most things right,  when most of ’s policies seem to be to keep the status quo and just have a lot of reviews. This is not a bad thing. An Opposition shouldn’t promise massive change just for the sake of it.

Labour’s policy is here. The details are:

  • Review the Ultra-fast Broadband project
  • Review the Rural Broadband Initiative
  • Review the telecommunications regulatory framework
  • Review the Telecommunications Service Obligations
  • Encourage local authorities to include broadband availability in their online maps
  • Hope someone builds a second cable, and offer the same money as National to be an anchor tenant in one
  • $2.4 million a year for local Councils to roll out Internet access to low income communities
  • $1.6 million a year for a pilot rural fibre connectivity scheme
  • $1.3 million a year for a connectivity innovation fund
  • Review the Telecommunications, Commerce and Radio Communication Acts
  • Review the Copyright Act
  • Review the recommendations of the Data Futures Forum

There’s nothing bad in this policy. The modest spending commitment of around $5 million could get some good results.  But largely the policy is an endorsement of the status quo and almost a dozen reviews. Some seem pointless, while others are very desirable (I am very keen on a first principles review of copyright law).

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11 Responses to “Labour’s Comms & ICT policies”

  1. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    except why should local authorities be ‘encouraged’ to include broadband availability in their maps. Just another burden on ratepayers, but then Labour/ Green think that ratepayers have infinitely deep pockets to pay for ‘like to have’ things and all the obligations central government foist on local government.

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  2. RRM (9,915 comments) says:

    That “modest spending commitment of around $5 million” would only be the tip of the iceberg.

    How many new full-time policy analyst positions do you suppose would need to be created in the Ministry of Bums on Seats, to carry out those 9 bullet points that don’t have a price explicitly attached to them?

    I’d assume at least 300. At $65k each there’s another $19.5 million of spending right there. PER year. You’re welcome! ;-)

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  3. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    That’s a lot of policy analysts, RRM. Enough to staff several ministries. I think you are more realistically looking at work for about a dozen people.

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  4. virtualmark (1,523 comments) says:

    Aren’t Labour’s ICT policies just placefillers until they receive their orders from Kim Dotcom after the election?

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  5. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “$2.4 million a year for local Councils to roll out Internet access to low income communities”

    Free net for those on the bene?

    How many poor people dont have access to the net? 7?

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  6. chris (647 comments) says:

    $2.4 million a year for local Councils to roll out Internet access to low income communities

    Why should local councils be involved in “rolling out” internet access to low income communities? Local councils should not have anything to do with social policies. Core services only please.

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  7. Albert_Ross (290 comments) says:

    Can’t agree with you about reviews being pointless, DPF. You don’t know what a review might find until you look. It’s nothing more than good regulatory management to take another look at existing legislation every so often, to make sure it is still up-to-date and fit for purpose. Waiting until it becomes obvious that it isn’t, leads you to regulatory stuff-ups and ill-thought-out fixes being hastily applied, and haven’t we seen a lot of that.

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  8. SHG (316 comments) says:

    Labour’s ICT policy is whatever Kim Dotcom tells Clare Curran it is.

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  9. RRM (9,915 comments) says:

    Mikenmild..

    I MUST have told you my story about the comms dept at the old Ministry of Housing? I have told it a few times before on here.

    Once upon a time, during the reign of the Clark labour govt, one of RRM’s good mates worked at the internal communications office of the old ministry of Housing. INTERNAL comms, note. Just all the memos, e mails and letters the “important people” (lol) are too busy to write to each other themselves, plus the weekly staff newsletter.

    (Anything that went to or from the Minister, or the outside world at all, all of that was handled by some whole other comms office, somewhere else.)

    Anyway, at the INTERNAL comms office of the Ministry of Housing, my mate was one of a team of 14 staff. He freely admitted it was a complete joke, the best four of them could have done all of the work easily. So he’d usually cleared his in-tray by 10am smoko, and then he was pretty much free to surf the internet or work on his own projects for the rest of the day, provided he appeared to be working whenever the supervisor came past. But his boss had a budget for 14 staff, so if they didn’t use the budget it would get trimmed next year, so they used it.

    So you are probably right ten policy analysts might be enough to do the work.

    But how many will Labour employ is a whole other question… ;-)

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  10. OneTrack (3,088 comments) says:

    “There’s nothing bad in this policy. ”

    Correction, there is nothing in this policy. They are going to have a “review”, or twenty. Shouldn’t they have been doing that BEFORE going to the polls? In other words, we have no idea what they would do if they got in. Have a review and …… nationalise Chorus…..?

    They are hopeless.

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  11. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Can’t agree with you about reviews being pointless, DPF. You don’t know what a review might find until you look.

    Then review everything. And I mean everything. Review all local government guidelines. Why not? You dont know that it WONT be worthwhile, right?

    There has to be a reason to review for the review to be justified. If there is no indication there is nothing wrong, then a review is a waste of time and money.

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