Minister's relative slams her telco plans

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012

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The brother-in-law of Cabinet minister Amy Adams has publicly savaged her in an interview.

Telco boss David Ware says the Government is biased towards larger companies and is only generating profit as it gears up to sell off the radio spectrum.

The Team Talk boss said he has been "dreadfully let down" by the communications and information technology minister.

"The Government wants to get the most money for the spectrum, and the people that are able to pay are the cellular operators," he said in an interview with Computerworld NZ magazine .

"This Government isn't interested in all this. Amy just wants as much money as she can get."

Mr Ware also singled out the Government's flagship $1 billion ultra-fast broadband and rural broadband initiatives which he says "tilts the playing field even further in those guys' favour".

He also grumbled about not having direct access to the Cabinet minister.

Asked if there was a conflict of interest arising from the family connection, he said they have an "unspoken rule" not to discuss telecommunication.

"It's a real pain. Whenever I do need to talk to the Government about anything to do with my business it goes through Steven Joyce, the Government has put in a whole bunch of protocols."

Mr Joyce, the Business and Employment Minister, previously held the communications portfolio.

Mr Ware is married to Mrs Adams' sister, Belinda Milnes, a former adviser to Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

The former Telecom executive established Team Talk as a mobile radio company in 1994. It is an NZX-listed company.

A spokesman for Mrs Adams said Mr Ware was entitled to his opinion. "The minister just laughs it off," he said.

When all television signals switch over to digital next year, the Government will sell off a band of the radio spectrum to telco companies for a new generation of mobile technology.

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