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Chorus' dividend money should be spent on network: TUANZ chief

Randal Jackson | Dec. 4, 2013
Paul Brislen, TUANZ CEO states that Chorus (in NZ) should concentrate on the job at hand and worry about dividends later.

"CFH would take direct control of the company and its contractors in order to see the project through to completion.

A second option was to provide more funding for Chorus but . . . "I would need to see some clear evidence of Chorus's problem before even countenancing this. Chorus is a private company that has bid for a contract and won. If it's underbid, if it's failed to secure adequate funding, if it's failed to consider the obvious regulatory impact, then that is its problem.

"If we were to give Chorus more money we would be rewarding it for poor performance. That money would have to come with serious caveats on spending and should include a radical change in management, dividend policy and possibly the board as well."

He says Chorus isn't the only game in town in the fibre deployment world. "If Chorus can't do the job, perhaps Vector might like another shot at the title.

"Vector missed out to Chorus on the Auckland bid — perhaps taking Auckland off Chorus and giving it to another provider might be the answer.

"Probably the easiest thing for the government to do now is to guarantee Chorus's debt to the bankers. I'm no financial guru, to put it mildly, and have no idea how any of this works but I'm told it's the simplest thing the government could do with the least risk to the country."


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