INDEPENDENT NEWS

Court Decision Raises Concern Over Maori Spectrum

Published: Thu 6 Jul 2000 01:18 PM
Court Decision Raises More Concern Over Maori Spectrum Allocation
ACT Communications Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman today said that the failure in the High Court of the Maori challenge to halt the auction of second and third generation spectrum, has again raised questions about the way the Government is handling the whole spectrum issue.
“By allocating preferential rights for a quarter of the spectrum to go to Maori, it looks as if this is simply a payback to Maori for their support at the election,” said Muriel Newman.
“The Government has already decided that spectrum is not a Treaty right. If it is not a Treaty right, what is it? If it is simply a racially based allocation, where is the mandate? By allocating a national asset based on race alone, the Government is disadvantaging the majority of New Zealanders,” she said.
“The Government still hasn’t put up any evidence to back up its PR spin that the allocation of spectrum to Maori will ‘close the gaps’. They have failed to do so because there is no such evidence,” she said.
“In fact this is the kind of wealth transfer will do more damage to Maori, than good. It creates a view that wealth comes from government, whereas most New Zealanders know that real wealth comes from a commitment hard work, thrift and personal responsibility as well as protecting and caring for your family. The spectrum allocation will simply delay the time before Maori leadership accepts that those old fashioned values are where the real wealth lies,” she said.
“This spectrum auction is extremely important to our future. Innovation rests with technological advancement, and investment in new spectrum is pivotal. Government should be aware that its handling of the issue and preferential allocation of the spectrum based on race is hijacking its own auction,” she said.
“The legal mess now surrounding the spectrum auction is not only costing taxpayers legal aid but it is also costing New Zealand its reputation with international investors”, said Muriel Newman.
ENDS

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