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Telecom Regulation: Unjust and Misguided

Published: Thu 14 Dec 2006 09:00 AM
Telecom Regulation: Unjust and Misguided
"Yesterday, Parliament passed the Telecommunications Amendment Bill which will split up Telecom and force the company to open their private exchanges to competitors. This new regulation is the worst possible outcome for New Zealand's business environment and property rights," said Luke Howison, Libertarianz Business Spokesman. "The actions of the Labour government in regulating Telecom are nothing more than simple theft. Telecom is a private company whose basic rights are being trampled upon."
"Companies such as TelstraClear have pushed the government to confiscate Telecom's legitimate property, but they should be more concerned about being regulated themselves," cautioned Mr Howison. "During the Libertarianz submission on the Bill, we heard Maurice Williamson tell Vodafone representatives to 'sleep with one eye open'."
"Telecommunications Minister David Cunliffe thinks the regulations are justified because "Kiwis are demanding fast, 'all you can eat' broadband'. This is a very flawed argument," explained Mr Howison. "New Zealanders can 'demand' all they like, but that doesn't make theft OK. Many Kiwis would love to have a superyacht, but should the government pass a bill forcing boat builders to provide cheap superyachts?"
"Instead of bullying companies with rules, regulations and one-sided "agreements", the government should focus on protecting property rights. Libertarianz would slash taxes and regulations like the RMA, protect private property rights, and allow responsible businesses to operate without interference," said Mr Howison. "Then the telecommunications market would be free to do what it does best: provide good services at competitive prices."
ENDS

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