ICT body merger talks hit the wall

Parties disagree over objectives

Negotiations between InternetNZ and TUANZ towards closer co-operation have hit a hiatus and the heads of the two organisations have different views of how far the joint arrangement was supposed to go.

TUANZ CEO Ernie Newman says he was looking for a complete merger, citing the substantial and increasing overlap of the two bodies’ areas of concern and activity. The move towards this objective has now died, at least for the foreseeable future, Newman says.

Approached for confirmation, InternetNZ president Peter Macaulay says there never was any merger proposal.

“We have been talking about working more closely together, but we’ve parked that initiative for the present.”

Macaulay says he doesn’t see that as marking a great change in the position. There was a study into closer cooperation and a report was presented to the body’s ruling council, but there has been no decision by council at this stage, he says.

Macaulay and Newman both say the two organisations are travelling convergent paths and some closer co-operation is inevitable eventually, “but it’s a matter of how fast those paths converge”, Macaulay says.

“We will continue to work together as closely as we can.”

Asked to say why he considers negotiations have foundered rather than merely “parked”, Newman declined to comment.

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