The sale of Telecom in 1990 was a mistake and New Zealand Governments have generally proved themselves inept at privatisation, says former National Prime Minister and departing NZ Post chairman Jim Bolger.
Telecom was split off from the NZ Post Office in 1987 and sold by the Labour Government for $4.25 billion shortly before Bolger’s Government was elected in 1990.
“With glorious hindsight you could say we hung on to the wrong bit,” Bolger said yesterday.
However, he added that at the time the deal was done, the postal business was the “right bit” to retain.
Bolger said his comment was based on the fact that “digital technology applies much more easily to banking and to telecommunications that it does to the delivery of hard copy letters”
“Hutt says: In hindsight it probably was the right decision. However, if the decision was made today Telecom would probably be retained and NZ Post ditched.”