New telecommunications commissioner appointed

Stephen Gale chosen from 44 applications, incumbent Ross Patterson not reappointed

ICT Minister Amy Adams has announced that Stephen Gale is the new telecommunications commissioner.

Adams says an independent panel considered 44 applications for the role and recommended the appointment of Gale.

Gale has been an associate member of the Commission since July 2010, and has sat on the telecommunications division of the Commission since February of this year. The appointment is for a five-year term starting on July 12.

“Dr Gale impressed the panel with his wide range of experience in regulated industries and his ability to articulate the role of the regulator to promote the interests of consumers through encouraging competition and ensuring that investors have the incentives to invest over the long-term.

“He has an excellent understanding of the issues faced by the telecommunications industry and the various approaches taken by other countries in regulating their telecommunications markets.”

Adams thanked out-going telecommunications commissioner, Ross Patterson, for his contribution during the last five years.

“Dr Patterson played an important role in the success of the telecommunications sector during his tenure, including participating in the operational separation of Telecom, the unbundling of the local copper loop, and mobile termination regulation. I wish him well in his future endeavours.”

According to his biography on the Commerce Commission website Gale specialised in energy economics and competition proceedings at the infrastructure consulting firm Castalia, and before that at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. He has also advised on mergers in a variety of sectors including forestry, supermarkets, newspapers, dairy products, ready mix concrete, farming hardware, building materials and snack foods.

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