National and Maori Party divided on spectrum
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Government coalition partners National and the Maori Party remain divided over spectrum issues, just as the analogue switchoff is about to begin in the first regions – Hawkes Bay and West Coast – on September 30.
The analogue switch off will clear the 700MHz spectrum, which is valuable for telecommunication companies wanting to roll out the next generation of mobile services commonly referred to as 4G.
The spectrum is expected to be ready for use in December 2013, with an allocation process scheduled for early next year.
As part of the confidence and supply agreement between National and the Maori Party the issue of spectrum allocation was to have been resolved by May this year.
But Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has emailed Computerworld a statement saying his party disagrees with the National party over Treaty of Waitangi claims on the spectrum.
“The Maori Party and the National Party have different views on spectrum claims, and we have been working hard to reconcile our differences,” Sharples says.
“The Maori Party believes that the ability to communicate, create community and protect tikanga and te reo Maori in a digital world is fundamental to the exercise of rangatiratanga and the right of natural development.”
“That argument was advanced in the Maori language and broadcasting cases; on which the Tribunal’s findings were accepted by the Crown. In a digital age, Maori require access to spectrum suitable for digital communications. Convergence of digital technologies and the emergence of social media have validated that argument; and highlighted the fallacy of the Crown treating broadcasting spectrum differently from higher frequencies.”
ICT Minister Amy Adams told Computerworld that the National party does not consider spectrum to be a taonga.
The last major spectrum allocation took place during the previous Labour government, and it allocated a portion to Te Huarahi Tika Trust, which, in the form of the Hautaki Trust, became a shareholder in 2degrees.
However Sharples hasn’t endorsed a similar solution for the 700MHz spectrum.
“The Labour government’s settlement, establishing the Huarahi Tika Trust, did not address the Treaty questions. The Trust’s role in building a third cellphone network has, however, proved the benefits to Aotearoa as a whole of Maori participation in the ICT industry,” Sharples says.
“Unless there is a principled Treaty-based agreement between the Crown and Maori claimants, disputes will arise every time an auction of spectrum is proposed. That is why we have worked so hard for a resolution.”
If an agreement between National and the Maori party is reached, Sharples says it is not the role of the Maori Party to decide who in Maoridom should benefit.
“The question of who in Maoridom should benefit from allocation of spectrum or manage the spectrum on behalf of Maori is a different question – one that is for the Treaty partners to decide. The Maori Party’s views are simply the views of a political party – the significant negotiations are between the Crown and claimants to the spectrum.”
Posted by Anonymous at 0:24:38 on October 10, 2012
With the maori always constantly wanting money for everything we develop is just nonsense. They are lucky we treat them well, Australia booted the Abbos out. What we need to do is ignore there so called rights and get on with it. What would new zealand have been like if we gave maoris money each time we built a bridge or a powerline ?
Posted by Anonymous at 15:09:47 on October 7, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 11:09:04 on September 26, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 22:19:53 on September 25, 2012
However, the Treaty made no mention of welfare and surely having gained enormously through participation they cannot expect everything they once had plus everything else not promised.
Posted by Mystery1 at 18:03:00 on September 25, 2012
You should read it.
Posted by Anonymous at 10:34:21 on September 26, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 14:12:54 on September 25, 2012
Posted by Anonymous at 14:12:02 on September 25, 2012
Going by statistics recently would indicate most Maori are still living in poverty even though every kiwi has contributed in giving hundreds of millions of dollars in treaty claim settlements so I can only assume the loud ones demanding rights under the treating are too busy lining their own nests rather than investing that money into their own people.
It has become a game of greed and what you can get out of taxpayers and personally I'm sick of this situation, all the money going to Maori could be used to benefit the whole country, not just the Maori hierarchy.
It's funny that when there is suddenly money involved for certain things like water, wind and now spectrum that the maori want a part of it, if it were worth nothing they wouldn't put a claim in.
Because we are such a PC bunch no one wants to pull the racist card, everyone ducks for cover and lets this happen, no wonder so many people leave this country!
Posted by M at 10:50:56 on September 25, 2012
Posted by Nikau Hindin at 19:59:49 on September 28, 2012