INDEPENDENT NEWS

Telecom Rural Charges Price Hike Blow To Rural NZ

Published: Mon 18 Nov 2002 02:00 PM
15 November 2002
MEDIA RELEASE
Telecom Rural Charges Price Hike
“Yet Another Blow To Rural New Zealand”
26 rural Mayors met today to discuss some of the issues currently of concern to the territorial local authorities around New Zealand. Of primary concern was the issue of the increase in Telecom’s rural connection charges.
David Owen, Mayor of Waimate District and Local Government Rural Sector Group Spokesperson said that the rural Mayors who attended today’s meeting and were briefed by Telecom still felt betrayed and angry at the proposed increases in connection charges.
“The Mayors listened to Telecom but are still furious. Access to a phone is not a luxury in rural New Zealand, it is a necessity. Without a phone life in rural New Zealand is not safe and surely that is reason enough for Telecom to reconsider its decision,” said David Owen.
The Mayors passed a unanimous resolution condemning Telecom’s new charging proposals and demanding that the Government ensures that Telecom complies with the intent of their Kiwishare obligation, so that all New Zealanders have access to telecommunication services at a reasonable cost.
The Group also expressed concerns about Telecom’s possible involvement in Government plans for Broadband expansion to service rural and provincial education. Based on this most recent decision by Telecom, there is wide spread cynicism over the reliability and commitment to social responsibility of Telecom.
Other issues discussed today were rural roading funding and lack of new works planned, rural health initiatives, rural sewerage upgrades, and Sport and Recreation (formally Hillary Commission) Community Sport Funding abolition for rural communities.
ENDS

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