Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole

The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The deal between Chorus and Crown Fibre Holdings shows Chorus has failed to manage its own business. The deal allows Chorus to access money that was meant to be spent on the UFB roll-out in 2018 and 2019.

“That money will obviously be used to plug revenue gaps and in 2018 Chorus is likely to go back to CFH with the begging bowl.

“CFH should never have struck this deal and Amy Adams should have made that clear. This is a short term fix.

“It shows what a debacle this contract has been from start to finish. Steven Joyce, Amy Adams and the Board and Chief Executive of Chorus must be held accountable.

“Chorus has had three years warning of the inevitable fall in copper prices. It is not CFH’s job to fix revenue gaps resulting from Chorus’ lack of strategic planning regarding the copper network.

“The Government is again changing the terms of its contract with Chorus with no transparency and no accountability in order to prop up a failing company which is using corporate blackmail to keep the fibre rollout on track.

“Labour will announce its policy on the UFB roll-out and wider ICT connections in the near future,” says Clare Curran.