June 14, 2013
Cabinet leaves no spectrum for Maori
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples, is warning that Maori could miss out completely if a Waitangi Tribunal claim for spectrum goes ahead.
Spectrum claimants including the New Zealand Maori Council are preparing to go back to the Waitangi Tribunal over the Government’s refusal to allocate to Maori any of the 4G spectrum needed for the next generation of mobile phone networks.
Instead, Communications Minister Amy Adams, has offered to set up a $30 million fund to help Maori participate in broadband use.
Dr Sharples says Ms Adams is reflecting what cabinet has decided.
"The way they distribute the spectrum, there are three main telcos in New Zealand, including Two Degrees, so to make it an on going commercial concern, they've decided they should have at least 30 units each which uses up most of the spectrum. Maori can have access to the spectrum but not actually own it," he says.
Dr Sharples says the government could drop the $30 million offer if it is dragged through the tribunal.