15 Jul 2013

Claimants take new action on spectrum rights

8:00 am on 15 July 2013

Claimants to the valuable radio spectrum say they've filed fresh papers with the Waitangi Tribunal.

They're seeking a recommendation after the Government refused to give them a portion of the broadcasting band - technology that will be used for a more efficient generation of mobile phones.

A spokesperson for the claimants, Antony Royal, says rights are being asserted to protect te reo Maori, culture, and opportunities for economic development.

He says their argument also centres on Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Mr Royal says the Crown is creating property rights from the spectrum.

He says it's assumed the property rights belong to the Crown and the Crown alone and can be sold to telecommunication and technology companies.

But the claimants say there has been no transfer of resource rights from Maori into Crown hands.

Mr Royal expects the Waitangi Tribunal to provide a timetable for action this week.