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Econet-Hautaki Joint Venture Good News For Mäori

26 September 2001 Media Statement

Econet-Hautaki Joint Venture Good News For Mäori


Mäori Affairs Minister, Hon Parekura Horomia has welcomed the news that Econet Wireless has entered into a commercial arrangement with Hautaki Ltd, on behalf of Te Huarahi Tika Trust.

Mr Horomia says the joint venture is absolutely in line with the coalition Government’s commitment to increasing Maori participation and involvement in the information and telecommunications sector.

"This morning's announcement endorses the Government’s decision to provide Maori with an option on purchasing the management rights to a block of the 3G spectrum. The venture will ensure Mäori are shareholders in a company at the cutting edge of technological change in New Zealand. The joint venture also has the potential to create new training and employment opportunities as well as investment opportunities for Mäori. Of course all cellular phone users will benefit from the added competition of a third mobile network in New Zealand."

Te Huarahi Tika Trust was established last year, prior to the auction of management rights to 3rd generation radio spectrum, when the government granted Mäori the right to purchase some of the management rights. Te Hautaki is a trustee company that holds the management rights on behalf of the Trust.

Mr Horomia acknowledged the work of members on both groups, paying special tribute to the chairperson Bill Osborne.

"Many people were sceptical that a partner would ever be found for a joint venture. The Trust, and in particular the directors that negotiated the deal with Econet Wireless NZ, need to be congratulated for pulling together this deal. Now that the deal has been signed, the trust can investigate ways to use the ownership of the management rights to increase Mäori participation in the telecommunications sector."

Mr Horomia is aware of the importance of the Telecommunications Bill, which the Commerce Select Committee has spent the last four months considering submissions on.

"The Select committee has considered a number of complex issues with a view to developing a robust regulatory regime for telecommunications which best serves all New Zealanders. I look forward to the Bill being progressed through the House.”


ENDS

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