• Maurice Williamson

The Minister of Communications, the Hon Maurice Williamson, and the Minister of Maori Affairs, the Hon Tau Henare,
announced today, that following extensive consultation with Maori, the Government has decided to support the further
development of Maori television services aimed at promoting the Maori language.

The Crown has given assurances to the Courts to promote the Maori language through television broadcasting. These
assurances were accepted by the Courts as a condition for permitting the transfer of broadcasting assets to Television New
Zealand after it was set up as a State Owned Enterprise.

The Courts held that the transfer, without specific protection for Maori language, would be in breach of the Crown's obligation
under Section 9 of the State-Owned Enterprises Act 1986.

Earlier this year, the Crown consulted with Maori at a number of hui and meetings about how the Government's Maori television
policy should be developed.

"Over the next few months, the Government will be considering how best to give effect to its Maori television policy," the
Ministers said.

"A key issue to resolve will be what arrangements are necessary in order to ensure commitment to Maori language
programming, acceptability to Maori generally and accountability for the expenditure of public funds.

"The cost of the Government's Maori television policy is currently estimated to be approximately $12 million in 1997/98 and
$17 million per annum from 1998/99," the Ministers said.