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Ed Sheeran

Negotiators charging hard for Maori 5G stake

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A member of the Māori Spectrum Working Group says claimants and iwi are united in their desire to reach a long term and equitable settlement.

The group hosted a hui of stakeholders and claimants this week at Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki.

Piripi Walker says the hui endorsed the mandate of the negotiators, who are drawn from the original claimants, the New Zealand Māori Council and Ngā Kaiwhakapūmau o te Reo, the Wellington Māori Language Board, as well as the Iwi Chairs Forum and Te Huarahi Tika, the trust set up to manage Māori 3G spectrum.

The previous National Governemnt ignored Waitangi Tribunal and High Court rulings and refused to make any allocation of 4G spectrum, but Mr Walker says negotiators are determined that won’t happen with next year’s 5G allocation.

"A vast amount of activity and opportunity lies in the digital universe. Māori are seeking to join it as a player. The tribunal wanted Māori under the treaty to be awarded significant stake holding and recognised them as the proprieters on the basis of indigenous rights of this resource and of spectrum and so that has been advanced by Māori, the tino rangatiratanga view, it hasn't been backed away from," he says.

Negotiators don’t also want a repeat of the 3G round, where the terms under which Māori were able to access spectrum wasn’t enough to give them a proper stake in the sector.

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