Three Northland iwi say that they are disappointed with Telecom and Vodafone which don’t want to lease part of the fibre-optic link between Auckland and Whangarei even though the major telecommunication companies are giving a Maori-run high-speed broadband cable the cold shoulder.
“Communications is a major for all of us but it’s still you on that side, me on this side. Government has given these companies lots of money to carry out this work and they’re going it alone,” said Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi talking about Telecom and Vodafone.
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One telco is focusing on business users, while the other is chasing the consumer. Hopefully, it all leads to something better than trout-fishing advertisements.
Piripi reckons there are lots of reasons why these companies don’t want to deal with Maori. One reason is that Maori are still newcomers to communications in the Northland. Because there’s so few living here, they don’t see the worth in it.
The $30 million project is led by Ngati Whatua, Te Rarawa and Whaingaroa, and the second leg of the cable will eventually stretch from Northland to Auckland.
“Well we’re not going to stop what we’re doing. Our people are still here and we have to complete this aspiration,” said Mr Piripi.
He added that they have managed to lease some of the cable to other customers.
The project is funded by China’s state-owned telecom.
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Telstra, Vodafone and Telecom New Zealand have put forward a tender for their proposed Tasman Global Access (TGA) submarine cable linking New Zealand and Australia. The three service providers said in a joint statement that they expect to get responses to the tenders by August, while the contract for the $60 million cable is expected to be awarded by the end of 2013.