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2degrees Mobile co-founder goes to court against… 2degrees
TW.com Eds: Tex Edwards and his vision, drive and commitment were pivotal to the creation of a 3rd mobile phone company, a move which has led to significant decreases in the cost of mobile phone plans, mobile phones and overall cost structures. We wish him the very best and hope that what ever the outcome, both parties come away from this serious allegation, stronger and better prepared to continue the incredible in-roads that 2degrees has made for all of New Zealand and for Maori, who via Te Huarahi Tika Trust own a share of this company.
Strategist Tex Edwards is awaiting the outcome of an Employment Court hearing into his treatment by the company he set up, and he is also believed to be considering High Court action over his shareholding.
If that goes ahead, loans between the spectrum trust’s Hautaki subsidiary and majority shareholder Trilogy Partners could come under scrutiny.
The trust revealed at its annual meeting that each time the phone company issues more shares to fund its set-up costs, Hautaki borrows from Trilogy to prevent the Maori stake dropping below 10 percent.
Meanwhile, Mr Edwards’ stake has been diluted below 1 percent.
The company uses spectrum that Te Huarahi Tika has access to because of treaty claims.
Background (from our perspective)
2degrees, along with Hautaki and Te Huarahi Tika Trust, each put in money to get 2degree moving.
Hautaki is the business arm of Maori interests in IT and Te Huarahi Tika Trust is the trust responsible for managing spectrum won by Maori to participate in the digital industry. This is part of the problem as these 2 groups are largely the same, and more, have overlapping interests such as Torotoro Waea (a Maori broadband company) and Nga Pu Waea (another Maori mobile phone group), basically locking significant Maori IT positions up in just a handful of people.
So – Tex and Maori were partners in founding 2degrees but Maori found new partners, selling “our Maori shares” to overseas interests, in particular Trilogy from the States (but there are also now Hong Kong and UK partners in the mix, so we are told), essentially reducing Tex’s interests to a bare minimum. If you Google Tex, you will find he has staunchly supported Maori and 2degrees, whilst the Maori players (we feel) have lost sight as to the true goes of managing and commercializing the asset.
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