Māori Radio launches Treaty claim against Crown

By Leah Te Whata
  • Wellington

A decision has been made about the future of the longest standing Māori radio station.

Te Ūpoko o Te Ika was under threat of closure following tension over it's frequency but the station will not be silenced, at least for the next twelve months.

Chairman Piripi Walker says, “We're very happy that the iwi of this region have been able to come to an agreement about our treasured radio station.”

Frequency licence holders Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Toa Rangatira met with and iwi members as well as the station yesterday. They voted unanimously to keep the station open.

“Following the meeting, they went to Te Māngai Pāho and they are continuing to fund us for another year, we are grateful,” adds Walker.

Funding may have been restored by Te Māngai Pāho for now but the question is, what happens after the 12 months is up?

Station Manager Adrian Wagner says, “We'll wait until we've had a chance to seriously consider a pathway forward.”

The situation has sparked a claim to the Waitangi Tribunal about alleged underfunding and mistreatment of Māori radio stations by the Crown.

Walker says, “They're really against what the Crown's done, the rules surrounding Māori broadcasting, and that is why a group has decided to bring the issue to the attention of the Waitangi Tribunal.”

Te Ūpoko o Te Ika says they'll continue to fight until a permanent solution is found.