Path cleared for 4G auction as Treaty claim on radio spectrum rebuffed

ICT Miniser Amy Adams has welcomed the Waitangi Tribunal’s decision not to grant an urgent hearing of the WAI2224 claim regarding Maori interests in the 700 MHz band of radio spectrum.

“The Tribunal decision notes that the Crown has already had the benefit of the Tribunal’s advice on earlier, similar claims in making its decision regarding the allocation of spectrum,” Ms Adams says.

The allocation of the 700 MHz band of spectrum will allow the building of fourth generation (4G) mobile networks using the spectrum freed up by the switchover to digital television.

The auction is scheduled to start on 29 October 2013.  The start date will be confirmed after completion of the bidder registration process.

The government is also investigating the creation of a $30 million ICT development fund, focussed on the way government can help Maori leverage the potential benefits from new technologies. Cynics have seen the fund as a way of coopting support from National's partner The Maori Party.

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