2 Feb 2010

Spectrum negotiations about to begin

9:06 am on 2 February 2010

Broadcasting and telecommunications claimants are preparing to negotiate with the Crown about how Maori should share in a major reorganisation of spectrum.

Waatea News reports Cabinet wanted to make decisions before Christmas about hundreds of millions of dollars worth of frequencies freed by the shift to digital television, but was forced to backpedal after claimants went back to the Waitangi Tribunal.

Wellington Maori language board, Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo, secretary Piripi Walker said the Crown ignored tribunal findings on the issue in 1990 and 1999, but this time it may be forced to reach a settlement.

If negotiations break down, Mr Walker says the claimants can get a hearing before the tribunal with three days notice.