web analytics
The Standard

Greens pony up for a second cable

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, December 18th, 2012 - 43 comments
Categories: internet, telecommunications - Tags:

Market failure is one of the marks of our time. From unaffordable, low-quality housing to child poverty to the over-valued dollar killing jobs to over-priced broadband and failed government IT procurements, the market keeps getting it wrong. The Greens and Labour know the answer is for the Government to step in; National just turns a blind eye. Russel Norman did it again yesterday.

The Greens’ ICT package has been widely welcomed by the ICT community and everyone who wants cheaper, faster broadband. They’ve done something quite simple and smart – looked at this important, sustainable industry, looked at the aspects of market failure that are holding it back and said ‘we’ll fix that’.

Taking a $100m 25% cornerstone investment in the second undersea cable is smart. As you know, the problem isn’t that the current cable is out of capacity – it’s got lots. The problem is, it’s a foreign-based monopoly that’s taking us all for a ride, charging too much for too little and too slow. The second cable will add to the physical security of our international internet connections but it’s bigger effect will be to take away the monopoly power and monopoly rents enjoyed by the Southern Cross bale at present.

Reforming government ICT procurement to give locals a look-in is also smart. Currently, the over-valued dollar means our producers get undercut by foreign companies, who often underbid and under-deliver. Novopay is the latest outrage, and the IRD’s new computer system is shaping to be the next. Taking into account the economic benefits of buying local is only sensible. You and I do it all the time, why shouldn’t the government?

Meanwhile, National’s pouring all its effort (not that there’s a lot of it) into mining – a polluting industry that employs only 20% of the people employed in ICT, and which sends the lion’s share of its profits overseas.

National is prepared to let the big problems fester while it engages in crony capitalism (mining favours, SkyCity, asset sales, irrigation subsidies) to favour its mates. Both the Greens and Labour are showing they are willing to get their hands dirty and fix what’s really wrong with our economy.

43 comments on “Greens pony up for a second cable”

  1. tc 1

    ‘Market failure is one of the marks of our time’ spot on eddie and telco is enjoying a second coming of monopoly power under Joyce and the feckless commerce commission (aka the monopoly makers)

    We should be unleashing the potential of Fibre to make it as fast and cheap as it can be and remove the con that is data caps.

    Good on the Greens again, another common sense vote winner. How many business’s could a truly low cost/fast web enable and better.

    The cable crashed during chch earthquake due to the overseas traffic, world class eh.

  2. lanthanide 2

    Story about this on national radio just now. Amy Adams said that National had already committed $91m to the cable.

  3. felixviper 3

    National will already be rubbing their dirty little hands together thinking of ways to sell off the government share in this second cable next time they’re in power, probably to whoever owns the other one.

    We need a way to entrench public ownership in these sorts of assets.

    • karol 3.1

      Agreed, felix.  And such entrenchment needs to be TPP Proof.

    • One Tāne Viper 3.2

      We need a way to entrench public ownership in these sorts of assets.
       
      +1
       
      Just a suggestion: issue one non-transferable, non-saleable “share” to each and every citizen. The government cannot sell what it does not own.
       

      • Rich 3.2.1

        That would be the best plan, make the cable operator a co-operative with everyone holding a share. Pricing would also become moot, as any surplus profits would be refunded at the end of each year.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Make such sales require a referendum and if the government tries to remove that requirement they immediately, without appeal, get jailed for treason. I think that would stop these asset sales that National like handing out to their mates.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.3.1

        While we are at it, let’s make it a requirement that no government can increase taxes without a referendum and, if the governemnt tries to remove the requirement, they get cut up and fed to pigs.

        • higherstandard 3.3.1.1

          Can we just have a referendum that governments and city councils are cut up and fed to pigs if they annoy me.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.3.1.1.1

            Well, the principle is sound.  No government, no matter how handsomely they won the election at which they campaigned to take a particular course of action, should be prevented from undertaking that  course of action without a referendum on penalty of death.  I am negotiable on the method of killing them.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.2

          Not all of Auckland boted for a National government but the National government still removed Aucklands right to a referendum of local matters and rammed through the SuperCity that they wanted.
          As fore the government being voted into office on policies – 48% isn’t a mandate especially when it’s only 48% of 73% of the vote. Requiring a referendum prevents a minority from dictating to the majority.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3.3.1.2.1

            I didn’t vote for Labour in any of the elections from 1999 – 2005 yet they passed much legislation with which I disagree.  I was not asked about that legislation.  An outrage that can only be fixed by feeding Michael Cullen to pigs.

  4. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4

    Greens pony up for a second cable

    Fark. That’s generous of them.

  5. bad12 5

    Sharp from the Greens Russell Norman, this far out from 2014 it would seem to be an idea floated to gauge the level of interest and engage the intellect of the voting public,

    Cleverly Russell has carefully costed the ‘spend’ and how the Greens would find the 100 million investment necessary by not building 300 meters of National’s ‘Roads of NO significance’ a sure fire means of catching the interest of the media while reminding the voting public just how over-blown the costs of these road-works have become,

    Couple that with Julie-Ann Genter showing Gerry Brownlee up as more the school room dunce than the teacher in the House this year torturing an admission from Him that National’s ‘Roads of NO significance’ fail the Governments own cost/benefit ratio test and the Greens have had a good year and show no signs of flagging in opposition next year…

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Especially now that the government has announced that it’s raising petrol taxes making those RoNs even less usefull.

    • Dr Terry 5.2

      Engage the intellect of the voting public? I only wish! The Greens do that best, but “intelligent solutions” are not particularly popular with the general public; voting is based on a weird assemblage of fanciful ideas. I have heard people say that they vote for Key because he is good looking!
      The rumour still floats around that the Greens have no aptitude for managing matters financial and economic. That notion needs to be squashed right now! Russell Norman is without compare at present (if only because of the humiliating dismissal of David Cunliffe). 
      I truly hope that those who do bother to reason intelligently, will soon pay homage to Green politics. 

  6. Peter 6

    It’s a good policy, and a good example of how the Greens have the flexibility and systems (not to mention the spokespeople) to come up with these ideas.

    I’d gladly see most of that roading budget ploughed into other projects.

  7. MrSmith 7

    Go the Greens, showing some leadership and putting there hands up again, while the rest just pick over the bones of what’s been done before.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    As you know, the problem isn’t that the current cable is out of capacity – it’s got lots. The problem is, it’s a foreign-based monopoly that’s taking us all for a ride, charging too much for too little and too slow.

    That’s not the problem either, that’s the result of the problem. The problem is that competition reduces profit and that the present cable has a huge amount of bandwidth available which means that if a second cable was put in place in competition with the first the owners of the first would probably be able to price the owners of the second cable into financial collapse and then probably buy up the second cable at which point they just put the prices back up. In other words, no private investor is going to invest in such a scheme. It’s the same reason why we don’t have multiple national telecommunications networks after 20+ years of deregulation.

    We won’t get a second cable by relying on the market even with the government having a 25% stake. It’ll have to be 100% ownership and have enough bandwidth to price the owners of the Southern Cross cable out of the market at which point the government buys that one as well.

  9. BM 9

    Who’s that person standing next to Norman, is it his wife?

  10. erentz 10

    Government investment only makes sense if the new cable is sufficiently diverse from the existing Southern Cross Cable. This means landing it in Waikato or further south and must be a condition of any government investment, otherwise any talk about doing this for security reasons is bollocks. A major event today in Auckland has the potential to cut both segments of the SCC and take the whole country offline for months while cable ships are tasked to repair it. After Christchurch, we need to be honest that we can’t anticipate now what kind of events may take place in Auckland. The risk of being offline for months after a major event is too great not to stump up a little bit of extra cash when building this thing to land it elsewhere.

  11. Lefty 11

    The answer isn’t for the state to compete with the private sector over the provision of services that are a natural monopoly, especially in a small country.

    The answer is for the natural monopoly to be in public ownership and run on a not for profit basis.

    I’m afraid Norman’s proposal would just end up being a hand out to another private company run on private sector principles. Like our SOEs it wouldn’t actually be that useful to consumers because the profit motive would be too important, the CEO would expect to be paid a zillion dollars a year , the government would demand huge dividends etc.

    It would probably end up being flogged off to its competitor at a bargain basement price and the monopoly would be restored.

    The Greens actually aren’t up to much when it comes to alternative economic thinking – its just that National and Labour are bloody awful.

  12. infused 12

    Yes, because a cable magically connects us at the other end. Once again, missing the point.

    The cable isn’t the cost. It’s the interconnects at the other end. They don’t get cheaper.

  13. ‘sustainable industry’
    Yeah right
    Each computer requires several barrels of oil for there manufacture, and we replace them every 3-5 years.
    How is that ‘sustainable’ ?

    The Greeds are business as usual planet fuckers.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Each computer requires several barrels of oil for there manufacture, and we replace them every 3-5 years.

      Actually, no they don’t. Oil is used because it’s the easy answer not because it needs to be.

      • Napkins 13.1.1

        Possibly true, but the other parameter is that oil is the only answer currently in existance, with no meaningful alternatives on the horizon other than those which would massively drop computing performance.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1

          Oil use for computers is pretty much limited to production (electricity supply) and the pretty plastic casings. Electricity can easily be produced by renewable means and the casings could be metal, ceramic or wood.
           
          Producing computers without oil is, from what I can make out, rather simple.

          • Mike 13.1.1.1.1

            “Producing computers without oil is, from what I can make out, rather simple.”
             
            If you disregard the fact that oil is used in every single component. For example the silver and gold on components of the motherboard need to be mined. Locating, extracting and transporting these metals uses alot of oil.
            Future computers will be different by necessity of course. Now that we have reached peak oil (IMO) I think we will start to see more and more non oil using technologies, products, etc start to come on line as we move down the other side of the oil supply bell curve. The trouble is that currently they cost a hell of alot or are sorta dumb (oil from corn) or are kept hidden from public view.

    • infused 13.2

      Cloud computing, dummy terminals. 

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 days ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    3 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    3 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    3 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    5 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    5 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    5 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    1 week ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere