A taniwha in the clouds?

Fresh out of luck after losing the water battle, maori bludgers are now trying their hand tilting at clouds, or rainbows or other unseen forces in order to stand over commercial organisations with their brown-mail. They’ll claim a new flying taniwha is angry anytime soon.

The government’s plan to auction 4G spectrum in September or October faces delay, with Maori claimants to spectrum rights reactivating a dormant claim to the Waitangi Tribunal by seeking an urgent hearing on it.

Pundits are picking anywhere between $200 million to $400 million for Crown coffers from the auction of airwaves freed up by the switchover from analogue to digital TV – which are suitable for the new fourth-genertion mobile networks being rolled out by Telecom, Vodafone and 2degrees. A similar auction across the Tasman raised $A1.96 billion for the Australian government.   

The tribunal’s chief judge Wilson Isaac issued a direction for an urgent remedies hearing yesterday after receiving an application on July 4 to reactivate the claim, known by its case number as Wai2224.

Parties have until the end of this month to file affidavits, with tribunal sitting times and the claimants’ legal strategy unclear at this stage. The issue has the capacity to be a replay of the brinksmanship that delayed the partial privatisation of Mighty River Power.

The government and the courts should stop entertaining this brown-mail from greedy grasping iwi.

Just last month Tainui was begging for faster processing through the Environment court, now maori are trying this on.

I think we’d find things would go a whole lot faster through processes if John Key decided to pass legislation to ban taniwha and other imaginary creatures being used to hold up progress.


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