The oldest radio station of Māori starts legal action in the Waitangi Tribunal, after it was almost forced to close.
The station and Nga Kaiwhakapūmau i Te Reo (the Wellington Māori Language Board) said that the government policy around the allocation of the radio spectrum has forced the division between Māori and Māori has restricted access to radio.
The problems started in June, when station Te Ūpoko o Te Ika was left without funding and ran the risk of losing its frequency due to a change in government policy.
ANDREW GORRIE / STUFF
Wellington's Te Ūpoko o te Ika, the first Māori radio station that went on air, got its funding for about two months. Māori broadcaster Te Māngai Pāho refused to finance the station after the local iwi slowed down the further use of the AM spectrum.
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In Wellington two Iwi were involved in approving Māori radio stations: Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Toa. In other areas, such as Auckland, the ministry responsible for allocating Māori radio frequencies went directly to the stations themselves.
Te Ūpoko was a pan-tribal station. It was clear that Ngāti Toa and Te Ātiawa were looking to merge the private station with their own Atiawa Toa FM.
For more than two months, the two Wellington iwi refused to approve Te Ūpoko & # 39; s use of the ether.
During a house this week, the two iwi and Te Māngai Pāho agreed to let Te Ūpoko run for at least a year. The station would receive about $ 480,000 in government money to broadcast it.
Te Ūpoko-deputy chairman Piripi Walker said that concern about the future of the station is only due to poor government policy. He also supported iwi with starting their own stations.
He said that the Crown was inconsistent in his dealings with iwi and radio stations, because he spoke directly with Radio Waatea in Auckland, but would only give spectrum via iwi in Wellington.
By making only a small amount of spectrum available to Māori, he said that the government surpassed Te Tiriti.
"We have always fully supported the aspirations of all iwi for broadcasting their reo," he said in a statement.
Māori Development Minster Nanaia Mahuta welcomed the news that Te Ūpoko had been postponed for a year and said "common sense has gained the upper hand".
She said that it is a & # 39; crisis & # 39; was that the station was closed.
DOMINICO ZAPATA / STUFF
Problems that led to the station and Nga Kaiwhakapūmau having gone to the Tribunal were the result of the actions of a previous government, she said.
"The decision to transfer the license was taken in May 2017 before we became government and that the possibility to go to the tribunal was a matter for Nga Kaiwhakapūmau i Te Reo to consider – the road has always been open to them. . "
A statement form Nga Kaiwhakapūmau, Māori's radio network, said they wanted a complete revision of the Māori broadcasting policy.
"This dispute about the use of the license by Te Ūpoko is a predictable result of the legislation, policies and practices of the Crown." The Crown has a very successful initiative to promote the tearino rangatiratanga o re re Maori, seriously destabilized, "he said.
The group has had success in the Tribunal before. In 1984 it successfully asserted that it again had to become an official language of New Zealand.
When the appeal to the Privy Council in 1987 resulted in changes to the broadcasting law and the establishment of Te Māngai Pāho.
– The Dominion Post