Spectrum is not a taonga say Government

Hamish Fletcher at NZ Herald reports:

The Government says it will not set aside any for Maori when it auctions it off later this year.

In third quarter of this year the Government hopes to allocate parts of the radio spectrum, which will become available after the switchover to digital television.

The allocation of this spectrum will allow telecommunications companies to build fourth generation (4G) mobile networks that provide much faster mobile broadband speeds.

“Indications are that by using the spectrum for 4G mobile networks, we can expect economic benefits for New Zealand of up to $2.4 billion over the next twenty years,” Minister for Communications and Information Technology Amy Adams said today.

I’m pleased to see this decision. It is stretching credibility to say that the electromagnetic spectrum was what people had in mind as a taonga when the Treaty was signed in 1840.

Equally difficult to claim there was customary usage of it under the common law!

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