Auction Of Radio Frequencies In 2 Ghz Band Deferred For Three Months

  • Maurice Williamson

The Ministry of Commerce's 2 GHz auction is to be deferred until the Crown has considered a final report from the Waitangi Tribunal on a Treaty of Waitangi claim related to the radio spectrum, Communications Minister Maurice Williamson announced tonight, Friday March 26.

The Waitangi Tribunal issued an interim report today, by a majority decision, recommending that the Crown suspend the proposed auction and begin negotiations with Maori, with a view to reserving a share of the rights to be auctioned. In the event of the Crown and Maori being unable to reach agreement, the Tribunal recommended that the claim be returned to the Tribunal for a substantive hearing.

"The Crown will not be commencing negotiations with Maori but next week will seek an urgent substantive hearing before the Waitangi Tribunal," Mr Williamson said.

"The Crown considers that three months would be a reasonable period for the Tribunal to complete its final report, and for this to be considered by the Government," the Minister said.

The auction of radio frequencies in the 2 GHz band was due to commence on Monday 29 March 1999.