The Commerce Commission's new chairman, Mark Berry, has asked his predecessor, Paula Rebstock, to remain in her role as a member of the commission to complete a number of determinations pending in telecommunications.
How the move will affect any return to the commission by Ross Patterson, who took leave from his role as telecommunications commissioner last year to deal with an alcohol-related illness, is not known.
Patterson offered no comment to recent Computerworld enquiries about such a return and Minister of Economic Development Simon Power's office would only say it was awaiting advice from the commission on any such return.
In a release today, the commission says that under the Telecommunications Act, the Chair of the commission assumes the responsibilities of the telecommunications commissioner when that position is vacant.
The release says Rebstock's reappointment is an interim arrangement "to ensure smooth continuation of current work programmes".
“The Commission will rely on provisions in the Telecommunications Act that provide for transitional issues to be dealt with by allowing a Commissioner whose term has expired to continue to determine matters which they were dealing with at the time their term ended,” says Berry.
“This means that Paula Rebstock, whose term ended on 31 March 2009, will continue to carry out her role as a member of the Commission in relation to a number of important telecommunications matters.”
Rebstock will continue to sit alongside commissioners Anita Mazzoleni and Gowan Pickering in the Schedule 3 inquiry into mobile termination, determinations of the cost of the Telecommunications Services Obligations, determinations on sub-loop services and the Next Generation Networks Study.