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2GHZ Auction: Maori Interest - Govt

2 March 2000

Acting Communications Minister Trevor Mallard and Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels, today confirmed that the part of the 2GHz auction reserved for bidders able to demonstrate a commitment to involve Maori in the development of the spectrum will be allocated by competitive auction.

The Ministers were responding to media reports which stated that Maori will collectively decide the preferred bidder through an electoral college comprising a wide range of Maori groups.

The Ministers said that the Cabinet decision was quite clear that the spectrum will be allocated competitively.

In the auction, bidding access to a block of 15MHz will only be given to those parties able to demonstrate some commitment to involve Maori in the development of the spectrum. The block will be allocated to the eligible bidder who bids the highest price. Ministers will develop the criteria over the next few weeks on who will be eligible to bid for this block.

“It would make a nonsense of the bidding process if only one party were eligible to bid,” the Ministers said.

“It is in the interests of both the Crown and Maori to encourage as many bidders as possible with a commitment to involve Maori in the development of the spectrum to participate in the auction.

"We want to encourage as much innovation and creativity as possible in how this spectrum can be used to benefit Maori, and this will not be achieved by unduly restricting bidding access.”

Contact: Kerry Lamont (Press Secretary) 04 471 9889

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