25 Feb 2013

Maori Party powerless with National - spectrum claimant

8:55 am on 25 February 2013

A claimant to the radio spectrum says the Government's refusal to allocate part of the band to Treaty partners, is a clear indication that the Maori Party holds little power as a support partner with National.

Cabinet has decided not to allocate any part of a soon-to-be-auctioned-off broadcasting spectrum to Maori groups.

Claimant Graeme Everton said he's sure the Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples would have done his best to lobby ministers.

He said the outcome is not what Pita Sharples wanted, who would have fought hard to get a 'miserly' bit of spectrum.

The Maori Party said the Government has again missed an opportunity to make a principled decision, after so many years of engagement and time spent to educate Ministers of the Crown on tangata whenua rights.

It said the issue will continue to keep coming back until it's properly dealt with.

The Government has firmly held the line that the spectrum is not a taonga, or treasure.

Communications Minister Amy Adams said it might set up a $30 million technology fund for Treaty partners - which could be used to help promote and support the Maori language and culture.