Māori Council's application for 4G rights declined

By Ripeka Timutimu

The Māori Council has yet again failed in its bid to have Māori rights recognised over something they say is a 'taonga'.

The Waitangi Tribunal declined the Māori Council's application for an urgent hearing over radio spectrum for the 4G network, which no doubt boosted the Govt's confidence before the spectrum is auctioned off next month.

The Tribunal's decision comes as no surprise after previous attempts to have 4G spectrum recognised as a taonga by the National Govt have fallen short.

However, they could have a strong comrade in the Māori Party who disagrees with National's stance.

The spectrum will go up for sale next month to companies like Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees, with a reserve price of nearly $200mil, but there is a storm brewing.

Tomorrow, members of the council will be meeting in Auckland to discuss where to next.