- Date published:
6:55 pm, March 21st, 2009 - 14 comments
Categories: business, national/act government - Tags: air new zealand, commerce commission, john drinnan, mark berry, nz herald, paula rebstock, telecom, todd energy
On Thursday I linked to a piece in the NBR that suggested Simon Power’s appointment of Dr Mark Berry to replace Paula Rebstock at the Commerce Commission hinted at a radical shakeup of the consumer watchdog.
Today John Drinnan has an in-depth piece in the Herald that suggests radical reform is indeed on the way, and it’s a result of major lobbying from National’s big business supporters who want to take an axe to the Commission’s regulatory powers.
it is understood that Rebstock was ultimately disappointed by the way things turned out and would have liked to stay on…
…The last-minute timing of her departure is perplexing, leading some to question the behind-the-scenes developments between her, the Government and Rebstock’s big business critics.
With a new National Government and a more business-friendly ethos, big business critics have been calling to have the lion de-clawed.
According to the article much of this pressure has come from Telecom, Todd Energy and Air New Zealand.
Telecom competition lawyer David Grant, who works for new ComCom head Mark Berry’s firm, Chapman Tripp, is on record recently saying New Zealand can no longer afford competition law and calling for a full review or disbanding of the commission.
Todd Energy said just this week it was time to “reset the compass” at the Commission, and according to one Parliamentary insider quoted in the article:
Cabinet ministers – such as Trade Minister Tim Groser, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee – had made no secret they favoured changes at the commission.
“Air New Zealand have been beating the drum about the attitude she imbued,” said the Wellington source.
With National in government it seems the Old Boys’ network is firmly back in the saddle and they’re frantically trying to make up for the last nine years. Meanwhile it’s becoming clearer by the day who National thinks it’s governing for – and it’s not the likes of you and me.