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TUANZ's future on shaky ground

The continued existence of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) is in peril, with its future dependent on members coughing up more than $100,000 in order to keep going.

TUANZ CEO Paul BrislenTUANZ needs $400,000 in membership fees to continue operating, but according to Computerworld, to date it has only collected about $250,000.

Membership renewal reminders went out in April.

Chief executive Paul Brislen is TUANZ's only employee – the rest of the organisation's staff were let go earlier in the year and its Takapuna office shut down.

In a comment thread on the NBR, he said he hoped to retain enough membership interest to continue to operate, and focus its efforts online.

"That way we can discuss the issues of the day with as broad a group of members as possible, something we haven't done before."

He said that in its 26 years, TUANZ had lobbied for telco regulation, the creation of the Telecommunications Commissioner's role, for unbundling and fibre to the home, number portability and lowering mobile termination rates.

The TUANZ board includes chairman Pat O'Connell (CIO at The Rank Group), secretary Doug Wilson (CIO of the AA), treasurer Kevin Drinkwater (Mainfreight CIO), Transpower telecommunications manager John Crisp, Aurecon NZ telecommunications marketing manager Bruce Turner, Express Couriers IT general manager Tony Wickstead, and Richard Anderson, head of strategy and planning for Westpac NZ.

Earlier this year TUANZ asked for funding from InternetNZ but was declined.

TUANZ has also suffered in the events arena – it previously ran an annual awards and conference, and other industry functions.