4G radio spectrum, Amy Adams

Why should we give Maori $30 million for ICT when they’ve got $37 billion of their own?

4G Spectrum - Amy Adams & John Key

Even though Maori have a $37 billion economy, Amy Adams and John Key are planning to give them another $30 million.

The $30 million is compensation for the government quite rightly refusing to indulge the tribal fantasy that the recently discovered 4G radio spectrum is a sacred taonga.

But of course, every refusal to indulge a Maori whim must be matched by a suitable — read sizeable — appeasement offering.

In this case, a $30 million ICT fund exclusively for Maori.

Adams said the fund would be ”recognition that the Government has a role to protect Maori language and culture as treaty partners”.

The fund would also help the Government achieve its existing policy objectives of helping ”lift Maori participation and achievement”.

”I can see opportunities for initiatives improving digital literacy, potential scholarships to improve Maori ICT training, perhaps connectivity for marae, the development of ‘apps’ that supported Maori language content, innovation incubators…”.

In fact, nothing in the Treaty calls for the government to protect Maori language and culture.

It simply guaranteed them the property — the things — that they owned.

Taonga in the dictionary of 1820 meant ‘property procured by the spear’. In the 1844 dictionary: ‘property’.

Nothing about language or culture. Nothing about ICT. And nothing about 4G.

And you won’t find anything in the Treaty about the Crown and Maori being ‘partners’.

The Treaty was a sovereignty for protection deal, that was all.

If Maori want to improve their computer skills, let them do it.

With their own money.