Paul Brislen – you have some questions to answer

There’s nothing more satisfying than uncovering a two-faced fibber.

Ladies and gentlemen, please let me introduce Paul Brislen.

For the past week, he has been media whoring all over the country, telling anyone who will listen that the government shouldn’t be bailing out Chorus.

Never mind that he is misleading the country, and in actual fact, the government is proposing to slash Chorus’ profits by between $20 million and $100 million.

But if he wants to make shit up, that’s up to him. But what I don’t like is people being hypocritical.

I have been doing some digging about Mr Brislen and found a couple of stories from last year where he went crying to the media that his organisation was about to go under.

The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand may fold within a month, unless more of its members renew their annual subscription fees.

CEO Paul Brislen says the organisation that has represented telco end-users for 26 years is at a “make or break” position. Unless it receives $400,000 in membership fees, it may not survive the year.

“Any less than that ($400,000) then we really can’t do much. Predominantly that’s paying for me, travel, and for support services. The travel is really just from here (Auckland) to Wellington and back. 

It appears that Brislen’s salary is hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but I’ll come back to that point another day.

However, if we look a little bit further through the story, we find this interesting nugget:

Many government departments have also not renewed their memberships, citing budget cuts, but others, such as Te Puni Kokiri, have signed up.

Then in this story, there’s some other interesting information.

Five or six public sector agencies had cancelled their memberships and another 10 were late paying their fees.

It appears that Brislen has been going cap-in-hand to government departments to get a taxpayer-funded bailout for his irrelevant organisation.

So Brislen reckons it’s not ok for the government to step in on behalf of taxpayers to make sure the Commerce Commission doesn’t rail road the ultra fast broadband campaign.

But he’s happy to get a taxpayer-funded bailout to pay his huge salary. I say that’s outrageous, and he needs to explain himself.

Ideally media would ask these questions, but I know that won’t happen. So Brislen needs to front up and answer the following questions:

How many government departments pay him money?

How much does each government department pay each year?

How long have government departments been paying his organisation?

Will he refund all the taxpayer money that he has received over the years?

Does he think his actions are hypocritical?

I look forward to his answers.

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