Future Investment Fund

UFB passes 10% uptake

The fibre rollout is progressing and uptake is growing, passing 10%.

Now if only Chorus would turn on the dark fibre in my street!

Broadband connections have increased nearly 40% over the past quarter according to the latest quarterly figures of the Government’s ultrafast broadband and rural broadband initiative.

The figures, released yesterday by Communications Minister Amy Adams, show around 536,000 end-users are now able to connect to UFB, though only 55,000 are connected. However, 15,500 of those connected to UFB in the three months to September, a 39% increase on last quarter.

The figures indicate a 10% uptake nationally, compared with a national uptake rate of 7% the previous quarter, with the project now 6% ahead of build schedule.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, as of September, the UFB deployment progress was 100% complete for Northland. Waikato and Taranaki were sitting at 71% and 62% completed respectively, while Auckland was 26% complete, with Wellington at 29% and Canterbury at 36%.    Read more »

Air New Zealand sell down returns $365 million, asset sales programme on track

The government is looking like realising their goals from asset sales with the return from Air New Zealand bringing in $365 million.

The Government has completed the sale of 20 per cent of Air New Zealand, selling just over 221 million shares at $1.65, Finance Minister Bill English and State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall say.

“The sell down of shares has returned $365 million, which will now be allocated to the Future Investment Fund so we can keep building new assets like schools and hospitals while controlling Government debt,” Mr English says.

“This brings the total share offer programme proceeds to almost $4 billion after three partial sales.   Read more »

All the appeal of a dry root


Vernon Small points out the obvious.

Perhaps the oddest element of the Budget is the first round allocation of over $500m from the proceeds of the planned asset sales through the so called Future Investment Fund.

Almost half – $250m – goes to KiwiRail. Not so much an investment in the future, as a way to pay for an underfunded loss-making liability from the past … paid for by the sale of a profitable stake in an energy company.

Please make Michael Cullen chair of Kiwirail. He was the dopey bastard who bought it, so he should have to run it.