Winston Peters has doubled down on his criticism of the Government over the leaking of his pension over-payment details, accusing National of a dirty and illegal conspiracy. Elsewhere on the campaign trail, National promised to spend $270 million on extending the broadband network and creating 100 new mobile hot spots for tourists, while Labour and the Greens accused the Government of moving too slowly to deal with an unhealthy housing crisis.
Communications and IT Minister Amy Adams released the full EY report on Chorus on Saturday, showing Chorus and the Crown Fibre Holdings will somehow have to find NZ$200 million to NZ$250 million to keep the UFB rollout on track.
Finance Minister Bill English 's suggestion of a 'health check' of regulatory certainty in the power and telecommunications sectors drew a strong reaction from the Opposition and the Government's own coalition partner, United Future's Peter Dunne .
Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has directed Chorus and Crown Fibre Holdings to start tweaking their Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout agreement so Chorus can still deliver the same breadth of network on time and within the NZ$1.35 billion "fiscal envelope" set by the Government.
Chorus launched a High Court challenge to the Commerce Commission's ruling on copper broadband pricing, John Key took corporate manslaughter off the table in the debate around workplace safety and Key was careful not to offend China in comments about the new air defence zone over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.
National 's coalition supporters, the Maori Party, ACT and Peter Dunne , have all said they will oppose any legislative moves to over-rule the Commerce Commission 's price reductions for copper broadband. The parliamentary block has forced the Government to look at non-legislative moves to help Chorus overcome what it says is a financial block to its Ultra Fast Broadband rollout.
Amy Adams announced an independent review of Chorus ' finances on Thursday and warned the company it was expected to meet its UFB rollout obligations. Shareholders hoping for a more immediate and conciliatory intervention from the government slammed Chorus' shares another 8% down to a record low.
Chorus described the Commerce Commission's final copper broadband ruling on Tuesday as a "regulatory black hole" that could cause it to default on its debt and compromise its Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) rollout. Yet the decision was less financially damaging than the Commission's draft decision in December last year, which Chorus described then more simply as "undermining UFB." So which one correctly informed shareholders? Or was it just a difference in tone?
Chorus launched a Benchmarking Broadband report on Thursday that it hoped would spark a debate about why New Zealanders are not using their existing broadband connections as intensively as they could.