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Spectrum decision a disgrace

Te Ururoa Flavell
MP for Waiariki

21st February 2013

Spectrum decision a disgrace

The Māori Party is very disappointed by today’s announcement by the Government on radio spectrum, which shows a complete lack of courage to address the rights of tangata whenua to develop their resources, including radio spectrum.

“To say that radio spectrum is not a taonga and that no spectrum will be allocated to tangata whenua shows a complete disregard for the Waitangi Tribunal report on Radio Spectrum (WAI 776) and international law on indigenous rights,” said Māori Party Whip Te Ururoa Flavell.

“It has been 20 years since the reports on radio spectrum were released and in that time the claimants have engaged and negotiated in good faith with the Government on this issue.”

“It is a total disappointment to the claimants and to us that yet another government has denied tangata whenua rights to develop their resources,” said Te Ururoa. “Māori have proven that they can develop spectrum for the national good, through building a small fund into a stake in 2 Degrees, which brought down cell-phone charges for all New Zealanders through serious competition with the established duopoly in the mobile market.”

“We are proud of Dr Pita Sharples, who has laid down the rights and interests on behalf of tangata whenua and the Māori Party at the Cabinet table for the last two years, but clearly that advice has not been heeded.”

“Today’s announcement shows lack of courage. It is disappointing that after so many years of engagement and time spent to educate Ministers of the Crown on tangata whenua rights, that this government has again missed an opportunity to make a principled decision.”

“The shame of it is, that this issue will continue to keep coming back until it is properly dealt with by government. All New Zealanders will have to suffer in limbo over this issue until it is properly addressed.”

“We share the frustration of the claimants and tangata whenua. We know that this issue will inevitably go back to court and when it comes out the other end we will be here to again support their negotiations and to advocate their position within government.”

“Justice delayed is justice denied, and that is what has happened with spectrum.”

ENDS

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