February 12, 2013
Spectrum trust faces unequal battle
A spectrum claimant say Te Huarahi Tika Māori Spectrum Trust continues to be dealt a poor hand.
Five new members have just been appointed to the trust; whole sole asset is rights to a block of 3G mobile phone spectrum that was assigned to 2 Degrees in exchange for a stake in the company.
Graeme Everton, whose mother lodged the original claim, says the trustees have significant challenges ahead to get some value for Māori out of the 2 Degrees investment.
He says the amount originally given to the trust wasn’t enough to give Māori a secure place in the industry, and it’s critical it gets some of the 4G spectrum the Government is about to allocate.
“If the Crown doesn’t accept the need for Māori to have access to spectrum or the cash to make the next investment in the next mobile space, they won’t be able to progress any further. Māori shareholding with 2 Degrees, there won’t be anything they can build on. It’s a dead end”.
Graeme Everton says despite the claimants winning in the Waitangi Tribunal and the High Court, the National Government clearly doesn’t accept Māori have a treaty right to spectrum.
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