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Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Corruption is not just being on the take. It includes corrupted thinking. In an entity that is meant to be providing a service fundamental to the functioning of society, namely communications, corruption is not caring about human-beings, not being interested in their interaction, not being interested in their well-being, not being interested in providing the fundamental service that is its fundamental duty.

The sprawling mess that is now New Zealand's telecommunication sector--which includes the ludicrous shemozzle of having <i>sixty</i> ISPs in this city-sized country--has handed Chorus a stranglehold. And it is answerable to no one--certainly not to people, or to Parliament, or to any MP. It arrogantly thumbs its uppity nose at customers, at Telecom NZ, at MPs, at everyone.

When pressure was put on Chorus to provide broadband to eight waiting customers in my small area, and my street has fibre running under one edge--a request that could easily be fulfilled by putting another 8-port block in the nearest street-cabinet--it thumbed its nose at everyone and rudely handed out a written form-letter response that would have made Goebbels proud. 2016, perhaps, is the unofficial prediction from Telecom, made more in optimism than reality, but Chorus says there are 'no plans' to upgrade that cabinet.

To rub a bag of salt in the wound the secretary of the MP (Nikki Kaye) who made the request lives in an area where there are a hundred households waiting for broadband. But even from her position nothing can be done to get Chorus halfway honest.

There is only one way to get telecommunications right in this country, but it is so politically incorrect amongst those of the blue- and red-flag 1% that they would never do it. Re-nationalise the whole shebang. Give the sixty a year to wind down and take their last profits, then make the whole industry an SOE, answerable to Parliament, with someone of the calibre of Peter Troughton running it (when he ran Telecom NZ as an SOE he made it sing).

Only then would it be what it should be: a public entity, providing a vital public service, answerable to the people through Parliament and their MPs.

And the foul corruption now oozing from the Choruses of this world would be cleaned out forever. We would no longer have to listen to the vile, anti-human, antisocial noise that Chorus thinks is sweet telecoms music.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


The Auckland Energy Consumer Trust, which owns 75.4% of the energy-and-infrastructure company Vector, and therefore gets a large chunk of the dividend that Vector pays every year, which it pays out to consumers. Good.

The AECT Board is a democratically elected body, elected every three years. Good.

But one has to wonder greatly at the timing of the dividend payment this year, election year. It was given out only a couple of weeks before the voting papers. We must assume that the money will make us feel so warm and fuzzy towards the present incumbents that we will vote them back in, for fear of not getting so much lovely money every year. That is bribing us with our own money.

There should be a very large separation between the two events so that there can be no accusation of using our money to influence voting.