May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Digital Spectrum and the survival of te reo Maori

2 min read

The Spectrum is a taonga handed down to us from Nga Atua – click here to read its whakapapa- as kaitiaki, it is ours to protect. As with Treaty claims which resulted in funding for Maori TV and Iwi radio – it was determined that in order for te reo Maori to survive and propser what was needed was that te reo be made available to Maori throughout the motu. As communication mediums have changed so to has the need for te reo Maori to be promoted within online spaces in much the same way it is via TV and radio.

IF we are to nurture te reo we need to engage the next generation of te reo Maori language users so that they in turn pass it on to their children. This next generation are fully-engaged with digital technololgy so it begs the question why is this new emerging channel not being giving the support which is needed to ensure that te reo is promoted online is a more robust and determined way.

From what we can gather the goverment has a different view on this and does not look as if ittruly supports the revitilisation of te reo…

These are some of the issues that Maori spectrum claimants might discuss when they meet in Wellington today (including’s Editor, Potaua Biasiny-Tule)to find out why the process to settle the long-running claim have stalled outside the Cabinet door.

Piripi Walker, the secretary of Nga Kaiwhakapumau i te Reo, says the claimants agreed a year ago to put a third full Waitangi Tribunal hearing of the claim on hold while they worked with officials to prepare a joint cabinet paper on options for how the Maori interest should be recognised in the current reorganisation of broadcast frequencies.

He says that paper was supposed to got to Cabinet in September, but it has been discussed by the ministers most closely involved.

Any assumption of property rights by the Crown, any sale of a scarce resource, by that, any assumption like that of its proprietership the tribunal has found through major findings and full hearings over the last two decades that iwi do have this prior interest in the radio spectrum. The Crown needs to find a way to give effect to that essential set of principles, Mr Walker says.

The claimants have the option to go back to the Waitangi tribunal if the government fails to act.

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