Huawei not blocked by GCSB from broadband initiative

By Kate Shuttleworth

Photo / File
Photo / File

Chinese telecommunication equipment maker Huawei says it has not been blocked from delivering fibre services and equipment to the Government's ultrafast broadband programme.

Labour's communications and IT spokeswoman Clare Curran said in Parliament she believed the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had stepped in to block the company from the Government-led broadband initiative.

"Three of the four New Zealand security echelon partners have outright rejected Huawei's involvement in the government broadband roll out. The fourth, the United Kingdom, is said to bitterly regret approving a contract with the Chinese company after a forensic audit costing more that 20 million pounds uncovered thousands of bugs in the telco system.

"John Key's willingness to strike up a deal before the proper process was followed is no surprise. The Prime Minister would do well to remember that New Zealand is not a business. You can't cut deals without proper consultation, especially where our top security partners are concerned," Ms Curran said.

Mr Key said in Parliament yesterday he was aware that Chorus had rejected Huawei's bid, but he would not say comment on any involvement of the GCSB to intervene.

In a statement, Huawei said Ms Curran's comments had created confusion.

Spokesman for Huawei, Nick Wilson, said the company had not been blocked from participating in the New Zealand UFB project.

Mr Wilson said Huawei had been operating in New Zealand since 2005.

He said Huawei is currently a major technology supplier for UFB in New Zealand partnering with Ultra Fast Ltd in the Waikato, Whanganui, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty regions, and with Enable Networks Ltd in Christchurch.

The partnerships represented 30 per cent of the total UFB project.

- APNZ

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