Meeting the two Steves

By John Nixon 05/11/2009


Steve who? you say…
Well Steven Joyce, New Zealand Minister for Communications and Information Technology, and Stephen Conroy, Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.
Both were present and co-opened the KANZ Broadband Summit at Sky City yesterday.
They seemed to know and appreciate each other, with mutual banter about Rugby, the weather, ’G’day cobber’ etc.

But what amazingly opposite origins! I learned from the M.C. that Steve Joyce (National Party) had built the New Zealand Radio Network, sold out to CanWest and retired at age 38.

Steve Conroy (Aust. Labour Party) had worked his way into politics via the Union Movement (Transport).
This really displays how the left and right of politics have closed the gap, at least in some areas.
Both presentations were concise, factual and interesting.
There followed two streams of presentations from Australians, Koreans and New Zealanders.
Many times the proposed Government investment figures in the new generation networks were mentioned: Australia AU$43 bn and New Zealand NZ$ 1.5 bn. Australia has five times the population of New Zealand, and much longer distances, but the reasons for this investment disparity were never raised.
Some of the digital video presentations were stunning.
I have again met a lot of wonderfully interesting people involved in the broadband field, one way or another. As always, the conversations, the swap of business cards and the ongoing exchanges will promote excellent professional networking opportunities.