June 10, 2013
Claimants gear up for spectrum fight
Māori spectrum claimants are preparing to go back to the Waitangi Tribunal over the Government’s refusal to set aside for Māori any of the frequency band needed for the next generation of mobile networks.
The New Zealand Māori Council met at the weekend to discuss support for the resumption of the claim led by Raukawa man Graeme Everton and Ngā Kai Whakapumau I te Reo, the Wellington Māori language board.
Council co-chair Maanu Paul says the Treaty of Waitangi means that the benefits of new technologies can’t just be grabbed by one of the treaty partners.
He says the Government is choosing to ignore the guidance given by the tribunal in the claims more than a decade ago.
"We don’t need to fight the fact we own 4G spectrum. We already fought that fight with 3G. What we are saying is that this government must act fairly an honourably in meeting its commitments to the Treaty of Waitangi," Mr Paul says.
The claim is likely to be lodged by the end of the month, which could create problems for the Government’s plans to auction the 700 megahertz spectrum.
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