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Te Huarahi Tika Trust was incorporated as a charitable trust in 2000 to enable Māori a right purchase over third generation spectrum (3G) radio frequency being auctioned by the Crown that year. The terms of the purchase were negotiated between the Crown and Trust.

As part of establishment of Te Huarahi Tika, the Crown provided preferential rights to radio frequency spectrum with a $5M cash contribution to assist Te Huarahi Tika Trust to achieve its purpose and objectives. Subsequently, Hautaki Trust was established as the entity which would have the exclusive opportunity to purchase management rights over certain radio frequencies and pursue the commercial development of these rights on behalf of Māori.

From the outset, Te Huarahi Tika lobbied the government to develop an appropriate regulatory framework and at the same time sought joint venture partners to work with. This led to the establishment of New Zealand’s third mobile network, 2degrees Mobile. Te Huarahi Tika anticipates that over time future income streams will flow back from Hautaki in order for Te Huarahi Tika to further pursue its purposes and objectives as set out in the trust deed.