NZ tech and telco sectors in the spotlight

ComCom launches fibre study, govt appoints remaining members to Digital Advisory Group

The local technology scene does not want for scrutiny, with the Government’s Digital Advisory Group now at its full complement, and the Commerce Commission launching a new study into fibre services.

While the two are quite separate –  the Group has been formed to advise the Government on building a digital economy and reduce the digital divide, while the fibre service study is to prepare the Commission for a new regulatory framework – together they point to an increased focus on the tech and telco sectors, in particular the latter. In addition to the fibre study, the Commission is also conducting a study of the mobile market as the industry moves to 5G deployment and new spectrum allocation, and another study into backhaul services.

Telecommunications Commissioner Dr Stephen Gale says the fibre study will assist the Commission in gaining a better understanding of providers’ networks, fibre services, network operations and business practices.

The Commission is expecting to implement a new regulatory regime post 2020 as the Telecommunications (New Regulatory Framework) Amendment Bill, which is currently before Parliament, proposes utility-style regulation similar to the electricity sector.

If the Bill is passed, the Commission would be required to set price controls and minimum quality standards for Chorus, and develop information disclosure requirements for Chorus and the three local fibre companies that have built the Ultra Fast Broadband Network. It may also need to provide a copper withdrawal code for areas in which UFB has been deployed.

Meanwhile, the remaining members of the Digital Economy and Digital Advisory Group have been appointed by Broadcasting, Communications, Digital Media and Government Digital Services Minister Clare Curran, bringing the full complement to 15 members.

The original eight members were appointed in March, and they have already held two meetings. According to meeting minutes, a major item on both agendas was the appointment of a Chief Technology Officer. Despite having over 60 people apply for the role earlier this year, an appointment was not made in February as expected.

Here is the full list of members of Group, who are appointed for 12 months:

  • Frances Valintine (Chair) - Founder and Chairperson at The Mind Lab, and Founder/CEO of Tech Futures Lab
  • Amber Craig: Councillor at Internet NZ, Trust Chair of Whare Hauora, and Chair of Women Who Get Shit Done. Experience working in the ICT sector as a solutions architect. Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Rangitane
  • Cathy Hardinge: Founder and CEO of Digital Seniors, and Capability and Change Consultant
  • Robyn Kamira:  Founder and CEO of UAV company Incredible Skies Ltd and technology company Paua Interface Ltd. Board member of Institute of IT Professionals and Hi-Tech Awards Judge
  • Gregory Morgan: Head of Digital Solutions and Innovation at Auckland Libraries and member of Library and Information Association of NZ Aotearoa. Former board member and committee chair of Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
  • David Moskovitz: Serial entrepreneur, angel investor, company director, philanthropist, mentor, software developer, and lexicographer on the Dictionary of NZ Sign Language and several Māori dictionaries. Involved in interfaith community. Blogs at
  • Damon Odey: Mayor of Timaru District Council and lead Mayor for the digital connectivity work programme for the Canterbury Mayoral Forum
  • Michael Taitoko: CEO and co-founder of Takiwā, a digital analytics and data visualisation firm
  • Potaua Biasiny-Tule - Co-Founder of Digital Natives Academy, Digital Basecamp, 4 Company B, and CEO/Managing Director of
  • Jordan Carter - Chief Executive of InternetNZ
  • Kaila Colbin - Co-founder and Chair of Ministry of Awesome, Curator of TEDxChristchurch and SingularityU NZ and Australia Summits, Deputy Chair of CORE Education, Director of ChristchurchNZ
  • Brenda Leeuwenberg - Head of Innovation at NZ On Air, Board Member of Women in Film & Television, and Director of Nomad8
  • Rohan MacMahon - Management consultant and involved in business development for digital technology companies. Previously Strategy Director at Crown Fibre Holdings
  • Victoria MacLennan - Co-chair of NZRise, Managing Director and CEO of OptimalHQ Group, Trustee and Board Chair of Code Club Aotearoa, Chair of the Digital Skills Forum, Investor and Director
  • Chris O’Connell - Director of Heartland Connectivity Taskforce Ltd, extensively involved with broadband rollout

Read more: US telcos T-Mobile and Sprint eye massive merger


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Tags Telecommunications

More about AustraliaBillCanterburyCommerce CommissionCrownDigital SolutionsHardingeIT ProfessionalsMorganTechnologyTimaru District Council

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