Maori keen to resolve telecomms dispute

Maori have no intention of halting the development of telecommunications in New Zealand, says Professor Whatarangi Winiata, and he invites the industry to get involved in talks in an open letter to New Zealand's telecommunications community.

Maori have no intention of halting the development of telecommunications in New Zealand, says Professor Whatarangi Winiata, and he invites the industry to get involved in talks.

A supporter of the Waitangi Tribunal claim which held up the recent 2GHz spectrum auction, Winiata has written an open letter to New Zealand's telecommunications community.

Explaining the background to the claim and its implications, he stresses that the tribunal focused on the "immense potential of third-generation technology . for the advancement of Maori people". The involvement of Maori in the industry as players and not merely consumers will be to the benefit of all New Zealanders, he says.

"Nor do Maori have any intention of letting this drag on," the letter continues. "It is in Maori interests to move as quickly as . possible to resolve the issues with the Crown. However, negotiations will only be productive for all parties if Maori have a clear view of what [they] can achieve from increased involvement in radio spectrum management and development. It is that issue which has prompted this invitation to the industry to talk."

A full version of the letter is available at: www. idg.co.nz/wwwfeat/cw/2ghz.html.

Winiata can be contacted through Maui Solomon barristers, phone: 0-4-472 6744.

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