13 Jun 2013

Chorus critical of Commerce Commission investigation

9:02 am on 13 June 2013

Chorus says the Commerce Commission should put an investigation into line rentals on hold because policy changes by the Government could make the current investigation redundant.

Chief executive Mark Ratcliffe said continuing with the current investigation is needlessly expensive and nonsensical.

He said regulatory uncertainty caused by the investigation has caused a dramatic flight of international capital out of Chorus and New Zealand.

At the time of the demerger with Telecom 17 months ago, international investors owned about 75% of Chorus shares.

International investors now own only about 45% of Chorus shares.

Mr Ratcliffe said Chorus is investing more than $600 million this year, which is more than its profit.

He said ultimately Chorus knows the demand will be there, but how quickly customers come onto the fibre network is uncertain.

Mr Ratcliffe said New Zealand is one of the first countries to introduce such a large fibre to premises network, so it's difficult to look at overseas examples to try and ascertain costs.