The $30 million set aside in the 2014 Budget to support Māori economic development and Māori language and culture through ICT is insufficient.
This from the Māori Council, who has long fought for Māori to be involved in the ICT sector, after Government today announced that Te Māngai Pāho will administer that funding.
Te Māngai Pāho (TMP) will administer a new ICT fund worth $30 million over a seven-year period to build up a supportive framework for a Māori ICT sector.
According to Pita Sharples of the Māori Party, “Te Māngai Pāho has been administering Government funding for 20 years now. They are efficient and good at reporting back to us.”
TMP will have one-year and $500,000 to set up the new structure and to find the right people.
“It's a huge priority for TMP to find the right people, who are also experts in ICT, to administer those funds,” says Pita Sharples.
However for Maanu Paul, spokesperson for one of the three initial groups who lodged claims arguing the right of Māori to a portion of the spectrum in the nineties and who continued that battle until recent years, is unhappy that the insufficient amount that was given is being portioned out by Te Mātāwai, a group who wasn't even involved in its acquisition in the first place.
Mr Paul believes his days as Minister of Māori Affairs are numbered.
“He should quickly retire as a minister, because Māori aren't benefiting from his decisions. This is a taonga to Māori and under the Treaty, the Government can't steal this taonga,” says Mr Paul.
Work on the new administrative structure for the fund will begin as early as next week.