In this section
The comment stream
- 1 of 28135
- 1 of 393
The news stream
- RBNZ exempts new house construction from LVRs 87
- Auckland house prices still scorching 63
- When prices goes bad 49
- RBNZ 'should hike rates now' 32
- 90 seconds at 9 am: A WTO deal 25
- You want a green economy? Support mining! 19
- Bank mortgage margins fall 14
- Monday's Top 10 at 10 14
- JB Were downgrades NZ stocks 7
- English eyes regulatory 'health check' 6
Opinion: Comms & IT Minister Amy Adams needs to start asking questions about Huawei; To say it's inappropriate to is just a way of dodging her responsibilities
You're obviously quickly learning what being a Cabinet Minister involves.
But you seem to have missed one key aspect of it.
As Communications and IT Minister, you are responsible for the roll-out of the government's ultra-fast broadband package across New Zealand.
That means if anything untoward happens within your portfolio, or there's any worrying news about projects within your portfolio, you should be asking questions of the source of that news to try and figure out whether any action needs to be taken by yourself, the government, or the organisations you're responsible for.
It has emerged this week that the Australian government has banned a Chinese telco company from participating in building the Australian National Broadband Network. They say they did this due to concerns over national security (however they're still encouraging the company to keep expanding its other operations in Australia).
The company, Huawei, is also involved in building part of New Zealand's ultra-fast broadband infrastructure, in Christchurch and the central North Island. The company is headed by a former Peoples' Liberation Army engineer, and is owned by its founders and employees. It was only last year it disclosed for the first time who its directors were.
The US government's House Intelligence Committee is investigating the company due to concerns of national security.
Huawei might be kosher. I would not at all be surprised if the Australians and Americans are taking the actions they are for purposes of politicking. Having a go at 'them nasty reds" seems to be a theme around Western politics at the moment (just ask Labour how much support they've gained/kept over their Crafar farms scare mongering).
But then again, they might not be kosher. Or it could be the case that sometime in the future, they might not be.
You've assured us that you're comfortable with the intelligence streams the New Zealand government has.
But our intelligence service can't even keep people out of its own satellite base.
Asking someone whether they've heard the one about the Dominican friar, the farmer and the teacher might sound like you're about to start telling a joke. The joke in question was New Zealand's intelligence service. The Waihopai three, as they're called, had so much time once they broke into the satellite base they were able to set up a shrine and have a campfire sing along.
So to say it would be inappropriate for you yourself to ask Australian authorities why they took the actions they did, appears like you're not taking any responsibility for your portfolio.
You are the Minister responsible for the broadband roll-out. If our closest ally reckons these guys can't be trusted, then the first thing you should be doing is getting on the blower to your Australian counterparts and asking why.
You don't need to tell us what they told you. It would just be nice to know that you're asking questions about developments within your portfolio.