Apr 17, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Hot Press, Rei Sciascia

4 min read

For seeing the future with past experiences.

It was interesting attending the National Maori spectrum Hui in Otaki on the 30th of October 2012 to find the different array of Maori that were concerned with not only the spectrum but the digital future of Maori.

It was also interesting to see the Maori faces that own or operate Maori ICT organisations and businesses.

There were many of the well resourced government groups like Maori TV, Maori Radio, Te Huarahi Tika Trust, Hautaki Trust, Nga Pua Waea and a spattering of IWI leaders. But the surprising part was that a group of Maori industry leaders called the Digital Maori Forum had a large contingent at this Hui.

The other interesting point was the Digital Maori Forum who was one of the very few from many groups that openly stated their support for the claimants and their claims.

This group of ICT leaders is getting on with the job of being Maori in the ICT industry and after 4 months of being informed that processes are slow as well as ICT Minister Amy Adams advertising her thoughts that there is no Maori case in tribunal. With this stagnation it makes you wonder if past factors that diminished Maori ICT advantages are once again being put into place behind closed doors.

The sad part is that the largest support of industry leaders within the Digital Maori Forum are being left out of the negotiations in preference to crown resourced and crown built entities.

One of very few Maori spectrum owners Mr. Rei Sciascia stated clearly that this industry does not wait for disputes and decisions based on bureaucracy. The ICT industry is based on solutions, actions and outcomes which in turn generates economic development.

That is why members of the Digital Maori Forum have solved many Maori ICT issues by operating ICT organisations or businesses that have created Maori economic development with very little support and resources.
Mr Sciascia said he supports the M?ori Coalition of Whatarangi Winiata for the New Zealand Maori Council, Huirangi Waikerepuru, Piripi Walker for Ng? Kaiwhakapumau, Graeme Everton for WAI776, Leo Watson Tuwhakairiora Williams for Te Putahi Paoho and Taihakurei Durie of the WAI2242 legal counsel.

But without malice he finds it hard to fathom how crown built groups like Te Huarahi Tika Trust and Hautaki trust/Limited can fairly represent Maori when they have to answer to the crown without transparently informing Maori or industry leaders of their decisions.

He also cannot fathom how representatives from Nga Pua Waea can be high on the table of influence when they too must report back to the crown that resources them for government outcomes.

Mr Sciascia also said that owning spectrum has its clear advantages but it isnt an easy task creating a business without knowing the disadvantages that only experienced operators know how to avoid.

He also said that the advantages of owning spectrum far out weigh the disadvantages, but how good those advantages are depend on what spectrum and what technology is to be used as the connections industry changes so rapidly

At that spectrum Hui Mr Winiata asked if he supported the spectrum claims Mr Sciascia stated that he and the Digital Maori Forum members had no choice about supporting any treaty claims because if we dont support our own rights and privileges we must then question ourselves as Maori.

Mr Sciascia said the Coalition has some big decisions to make, like article rights 1 and 2 as well as money or the spectrum or even the money and the spectrum, but as a spectrum owner and business operator he believes they also have to think hard about real Maori economic development in the ICT industry or the biggest losers will be Maori, their industry leaders, ICT educators and ICT businesses who already have the skills and experience.

He also said that if there is an offer of spectrum and money. He believes the spectrum issue is easy to settle if the spectrum had no value then Maori would be allowed to own it all, but there is a value so as a partner Maori must have a share in all spectrum especially when the tribunal has stated that as well.

Mr. Sciascia then said a settlement of money should be a well thought out process with Maori in the industry and Maori who wish to get into the industry creating a distribution model that is setup by Maori ICT organisations with a government representative to help manage it and not a model of government organisations with Maori representatives to administer it for the crown.

This group should not be a token setup with people from government organisations who have crown outcomes as their objectives, because this would be a total conflict by the crown, its representatives and groups already selected by them on behalf of Maori.

With that if you wish to participate as a member of a Maori elected ICT industry group then please contact [email protected] for a registration form, so you as an ordinary member can be forwarded as a nominee that will be eligible for the Digital Maori Forum executive at the initial AGM elections in March 2013.


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