National MPs and their Beehive spinners are working overtime to limit the potential damage from a possible capitulation to the Coalition for Fair Pricing over Chorus’ network charges. The Coalition, as many will know, it a motley group of Iwi, ISPs, and consumer groups, lead by the mad Sue Chetwin of Consumer NZ, Paul Brislen of TUANZ, and Matthew Hooton, the lobbyist.
Ministers, who initially stood firm against a poor Commerce Commission that threatened their expensive fibre policy, are now looking for some kind of quiet backroom deal to keep the Coalition happy, but without wrecking Chorus as a business (just maiming it badly instead).
But the consequences of such a decision could impact heavily on a number of National Ministers.
First in the firing line is Amy Adams, who is really disappointing as Communications and IT Minister. If Adams is bested by Sue Chetwin (who has a reputation for being a shrill dimwitted woman), Adams will be effectively hitting the pause button on her career. Existing and potential ministers are horrified at the derailing of cabinet policy but will be privately joyous at Adams’ slip-up given her big-noting to some caucus members. It won’t have escaped the attention of National’s caucus that if she can’t make a clear argument why a small copper pricing drop and faster migration to fibre is better for New Zealand than a big copper price cut and fibre rollout failure, then she probably couldn’t hack it in the front row of cabinet let alone lead it. Read more »