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Strong Greens support for Maori Television Channel

26 June 2001

Strong Greens support for Maori Television Channel

The Green Party is challenging the Government to finalise arrangements of the Maori TV channel and to work more closely with the mandated negotiating team, Te Awhiorangi Te Reo Maori Television Trust.

Nandor Tanczos MP today met with Trust members and assured them of his party's support in the establishment of the Maori TV channel.

"We were disappointed to hear of the continued delay and inaction shown by the Government toward Maori, on an issue which had its beginnings some 17 years ago when Maori first sought the protection of their language," said Mr Tanczos.

"A Maori television channel is not only a Treaty obligation. It is in our common interest to promote and protect the Maori language and culture in Aotearoa".

The Trust members told the Green Party that the Government has put its ideas for the new television channel on hold while it reconsidered structural and funding issues.

Prime Minister Helen Clark told National Radio today that a Cabinet paper would be considered tomorrow.

"It's estimated that for each thirty minutes of original Maori programming material, there's a cost of about $ 7.3 million yearly. We do hope that the financial questions will be addressed and that we will have Maori Television channel up and running by early next year," she said.

Mr Tanczos told the Trust representatives he would work with them in achieving a just solution.

ENDS

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