19 Sep 2013

Group to continue radio spectrum fight

6:55 am on 19 September 2013

A Maori group seeking rights to the radio spectrum says it will not be knocked back by the Waitangi Tribunal's decision not to grant an urgent hearing into its claim.

Claimants had sought a portion of the broadcasting band - technology that will be used for the more efficient generation of mobile phones.

Maori Spectrum Coalition spokesperson Antony Royal says the refusal is disappointing but not surprising, and the group will not give up.

He says one option could be to go to court, while another is to continue lobbying to make it clear why Maori believe in the claim.

Mr Royal says over the past two years, people have started to understand why Maori are taking a stand to demand a portion of the spectrum from the Crown.

The Government welcomed the decision not to grant a hearing, with Communications Minister Amy Adams saying the Crown had already had the benefit of the tribunal's advice on earlier, similar claims over the allocation of the spectrum.

Sections of the valuable 700 megahertz band of spectrum, freed up by the switch to digital television, will be auctioned at the end of October.