Last week, key Maori minds sat and discussed issues around the digital spectrum, the upcoming spectrum auctions and how Maori might better participate in the multi-billion dollar ICT industry.
We have often thought how might the National Government better support Maori aspirations within ICT, which policy initiatives might encourage rangatahi uptake and stimulate greater direct Maori inclusion, cultural promotion and economic development. One idea has been the pursuit by Iwi to secure spectrum rights pre-auction, again reminding the Crown that divestment of a state owned asset requires full consideration for Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Essentially, before ICT Minister Amy Adams allows the go ahead of any spectrum auction to large international media interests (Sky TV etc.), Maori must be included in discussions beforehand as she cannot sell away hapu rights to spectrum as taonga from te Papatuanuku mai te Ranginui. Spectrum protection for hapu first, then talk money, not the current approach by TVNZ, MediaWorks & Telecom to control all discussions. Maori are in this market too.
Mind you, we firmly believe that Maori ought to fight for key sections of the 700mhz spectrum and retain 100% commercial rights over the soon to be vacant analogue, white space. Again, why sell what we can grow amazing opportunities from?
Either way, you’ll be hearing from our kaumatua soon.
Kia kaha tatou.