Something momentous happened today. John Banks and Hone Harawira are on the same side of an issue, Peter Dunne is doing something sensible, and the Greens and New Zealand First as well as Brendan Horan agreed on something.
And David Farrar and Matthew Hooton are being praised in a Standard post for a job well done.
It was announced today that all other political parties have blocked National’s proposal to override the Commerce Commission’s determination on the level of reductions of broadband charges. Chorus will be fuming.
According to the Herald:
Government support partners the Maori Party and United Future along with Winston Peter’s NZ First have come out against Government proposal to override the Commerce Commission’s recommendation of a cut to internet prices.
In what appeared to be a co-ordinated move, all three parties announced they wouldn’t support legislation which overrides the commission’s recommendation.
With Labour opposed to the move to override the commission, the announcements this afternoon mean the Government would not have the numbers to pass legislation to impose a smaller cut.
This is the first issue I can think of where every party has revolted against a Government proposal although its latest RMA reforms were torpedoed in September after Peter Dunne and the Maori Party refused to support the proposed changes.
National is waiting to see what the results of its review of Chorus’s ability to complete the fibre optic network before deciding what to do next. According to Radio New Zealand Amy Adams has said:
We’ve had some initial discussions with our support partners and they indicated they weren’t keen on legislating. We’ve commissioned some independent analysis on the numbers – we certainly want to wait for those before we come out with anything concrete. We prefer to have the information in front of us.”
But this is deeply embarrassing for the Government. And I suspect that the embarrassment is going to continue for a while as Chorus applies the pressure on the Government for a helping of corporate welfare.