A claim under the Treaty of Waitangi on spectrum resurfaced this week as Spark worked towards launching superfast fifth generation 5G mobile internet on July 1 next year.
A spectrum claim - WAI 2224 - was lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal in 2013 when the 4G spectrum was auctioned, and Maori interests didn’t like having to compete with other interested parties.
In an earlier claim - WAI 776 - the Tribunal recommended that Maori had a right to fair and equitable access to radio spectrum.
That led, 19 years ago, to discounted 3G spectrum being allocated to the pan-iwi Te Huarahi Tika Trust whose commercial arm, Hautaki Ltd traded the spectrum for a minority stake in the company that became 2degrees.
WAI 776 claimant Rangiaho Everton achieved the discounted allocation. Her son Graeme Everton, who is the WAI 2224 claimant, is seeking a “negotiated solution” before the 5G auction.
Aside from the absurdity of a Treaty claim for an asset that no one had any knowledge of when the Treaty was signed, the spectrum claim is a reminder of the lasting impediment that decades of appeasement has imposed on getting anything done in New Zealand.
Capital gains tax a Treaty breach for iwi?
A capital gains tax exemption could be on the cards for iwi, with the Tax Working Group suggesting a reshuffling of the rules for Maori collectively owned land and assets.
Sir Michael Cullen - who headed the tax group - is warning of potential legal ramifications if the Government fails to address the issue.
Even a discounted a capital gains tax for iwi of 17.5 percent instead of 33 percent brought a quick threat that iwi would go to the Waitangi Tribunal to seek relief.
Perhaps the proposal was shocking to iwi because they have been enabled to trade as charities exempt from tax on income.
Push for voting Maori appointees in Hastings
The Hastings District Council’s Maori Joint Committee wants their chairman to be appointed to the full council meetings, including public-excluded parts of meetings, with speaking and voting rights.
The Maori Joint Committee also wants one of their members on each standing committee, with full speaking and voting rights and remuneration.
The move has not been reported in the media although it was recorded in the minutes of the joint committee’s meeting held on November 28, 2018, that are posted on the council’s website.
Under Section 41 of the Local Government Act 2002, only representatives elected under the Local Electoral Act 2002 are entitled to vote at full council meetings
Three of the Hastings council’s 14 councillors are Maori, so the move may not be justified as a measure to get Maori to the top table because some are already there.
Joint committee members are connected to Treaty settlement groups, which gives the appearance that special political power is seen as the logical next step for groups that have benefited from special Treaty payouts.
7612 have signed against tribal appointees
A total of 7612 people have signed our Change.org petition to Environment Canterbury to block the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngai Tahu Representation) Bill, which would allow South Island tribe Ngai Tahu to appoint two representatives with voting rights onto the council in perpetuity.
Soon, our MPs will vote on the first reading of the Bill.
The two appointees will sit and vote alongside the 14 elected councillors. As such, members of Ngai Tahu would be represented by the councillors they voted for as well as the Ngai Tahu appointees.
Ngai Tahu, which is also seeking more input on decision-making at the Otago Regional Council, has received $437-million in Treaty settlements since 1998.
Please click here to sign, or Google "change.org Ngai Tahu" and click on the link to "In a democracy, why should Ngai Tahu have more say than you?”
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