September 20, 2013
Spectrum case delay disappointing
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is disappointed the Waitangi Tribunal won’t grant Maori spectrum claimants an urgent remedies hearing on 4G spectrum.
The Government will hold an auction next month for management rights to the 700 megahertz spectrum, which is needed for the next generation of mobile networks.
That means the spectrum could be allocated and in use by the time the tribunal considers the new issues raised by the claimants, the New Zealand Maori Council, Nga Kai Whakapumau I te Reo Maori and the Everton whanau.
"It all hinges on the belief that Maori have, that spectrum is a taonga. The last Labour Government and this Government don't agree and therefore see no real reason, official reason to allocate a proportion of the spectrum to us. However, they are prepared to work out something for te reo Maori," Dr Sharples says.
The claimants have dismissed as inadequate an offer of a $30 million fund to encourage developments in information and communications technology that could boost Maori language and culture.
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