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Taxpayers funding second Maori TV channel

Taxpayers funding second Maori TV channel

"Taxpayers will be alarmed to learn that they are funding a second Maori TV channel before the first has even got off the ground," says National Party Social Services spokeswoman Katherine Rich.

"You'd think the Government might have been a little more cautious given the difficulties which have plagued the establishment of Maori TV in this country."

She's referring to a $115,000 grant for a Far North Maori group to set up a regional television station.

The money has gone to Te Reo Irirangi o Te Hiku o Te Ika, which is managed by Hone Harawira, son of Titewhai Harawira. The same group has also successfully applied for other grants from the Community Employment Group.

It is the same fund which provided $26,000 for a mother and daughter to do 'a whole lot of travelling for hip-hop'. The CEG scheme also provided backing for a US research trip to investigate the promotion of gay and lesbian sport.

"The New Zealand taxpayer has committed more than $45 million to the establishment of a national Maori channel.

"Other regional television stations have not been given taxpayer money - why should this regional station be any different?

"How many other Maori television stations does the Labour Government plan to fund?

"The Minister must carry out a full audit of CEG grants. Taxpayers need to be assured that our money is not being squandered," Mrs Rich says.

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