October 30, 2012
Spectrum claimants gear up for major sell-off
Māori spectrum claimants are meeting at Levin today to discuss the Crown's hardening position on new spectrum allocation.
Piripi Walker from Nga Kaiwhakapumau i Te Reo Maori says Communications Minister Amy Adams is refusing to recognise a treaty interest in the spectrum freed up by the shift to digital television.
He says the claimants need to make some big calls about how to continue a fight that has been going for more than 20 years.
"It's the biggest reorganisation of spectrum ever and with the tribunal declaring that the Māori interest in the radio spectrum is real and major, that iwi have interests because of their rights as tangata whenua, rights guaranteed and then affirmed by the Treaty of Waitangi, rights declared by the tribunal to be major in terms of the economic development and access to those frequencies and spectrum since 1840. We've got all of that precedent there. We've got to look now and see what Māori may say to government as it moves to have this auction over the next two years," Mr Walker from the Wellington Māori Language Board.
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