Media finally catch on to Hooton’s tricks

Matthew Hooton will be crying into his cornflakes this morning, which will take the edge off the hangover somewhat. The media are finally starting to see through his highly misleading campaign.

In an editorial in The Press yesterday, the paper gets to the heart of the issue – the campaign is just designed to line the pockets of groups like Vodafone, Slingshot, Orcon and CallPlus.

A well-organised campaign is being orchestrated on the matter, it is true, suggesting a Government proposal would amount to an extra “tax” on broadband users of some $600 million over the next five years.

This glides over the fact that the shareholders of Vodafone, one of the largest international telecommunications companies in the world, and hundreds of times bigger than Chorus, stand to benefit if the other side of the argument prevails.

Labour’s prime objection is to the Government’s intervention into something it believes should have been left to the Commerce Commission. There would normally be some validity to that argument. Since Chorus’s monopoly of the copper network is deemed to make it unsafe to leave pricing to the free market, the next best option is an independent regulator. 

In this case, however, the methodology the Commerce Commission chose is very open to argument. In addition, the commission found flaws in a section of the statute under which it was operating, and so did not apply it. Some weight is given to this opinion by the former telecommunications commissioner, Ross Patterson, a Labour appointee. He has supported the Government’s intervention on the ground that the regulatory framework is unworkable.

The issue is obviously a complex one, and will take time to sort out. But it is not one from which anyone involved can make quick and easy political points.

Hooton’s campaign has been built on the fact that he’s trying to claim that New Zealanders will pay more for their broadband. Unfortunately for him, the government is making broadband considerably cheaper for Kiwis.

It looks like Hooton’s campaign is on its last legs. He should refund all the cash he has been paid by the following companies to lie to New Zealanders:

Consumer NZ, InternetNZ, the Telecommunication Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ), CallPlus, Slingshot, the Federation of Maori Authorities, Greypower, Hautaki Trust, KiwiBlog, KLR Holdings, National Urban Maori Authorities, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Orcon, Rural Women, Te Huarahi Tika Trust and the Unite Union.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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