Rural New Zealand’s growing anger at substandard internet connections is catching up on the Government with panicked, unfunded and unambitious promises made by Communications Minister Amy Adams, says Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“National's 'aspirational' target for broadband connectivity in ten years’ time is a cynical attempt to distract from the under-delivering rural broadband.
The Government seems intent on putting the ultrafast broadband scheme at risk in a “loopy rules reduction” report released today by suggesting new infrastructure connections be optional, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says.
“The Rules Reduction Taskforce report cited an ‘opportunity’ to ‘Make new infrastructure connections optional and negotiable’.
While National debates the rules for post 2020 telecommunication, it is dragging its heels on fixing the quality of internet connections right now in rural communities says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran.
“Last week the Minister quietly revealed that the second phase of the Rural Broadband scheme has been put off until after the ultrafast broadband second stage has been determined.
The Government’s poor coordination between its transport strategy and the needs of the regions has been highlighted in a new report by Local Government New Zealand, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“Local Government was forced to write its Mobilising the Regions report because the Government continues to make funding decisions which negatively impact regional New Zealand.
Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“Our heartland towns have a lot to gain from Jetstar’s new services announced today and the Government could do its bit by pledging the tens of millions of dollars it spends annually really do go to the airline offering the best price.
It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash.
"Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to around 40c per litre, prompting the Minister of Energy to write to petrol importers expressing his concerns. The margin is now 38.5c per litre, despite the fall in the retail price.
Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
“The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals who are unhappy with the location of the new Kawarau bridge the $25 million funding was about ‘runs on the board now prior to – if we can be very blunt about it – the 2017 election’.
Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.
“Two months ago I took Contact to task for profiteering from pre-pay customers, stinging them with bills up to 38% more than normal electricity bills.
The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says.
The company has told shareholders it is "appalled" by Treasury's recommendation that the Government shut down the rail network.