I'm not sure about this. While I agree with increasing the profile of maori TV and promoting maori development I am not sure if hosting the free to air TV rights with MaoriTV is the way to go. Especially as that 3 million, whilst a drop in the bucket, could be used elsewhere.
"Maori Television (MTS) put in a $3 million taxpayer-funded bid - reportedly greater than bids by Television New Zealand and TV3 - for the 2011 Rugby World Cup's free-to-air broadcast rights.
Dr Sharples authorised the money to come out of Te Puni Kokiri (Ministry for Maori Development) funds set aside to foster Maori development rather than the $16.5 million given to the channel to fund its operation, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Dr Sharples says, "This bid creates huge opportunities to promote and profile Maori businesses across the spectrum, for example, and new jobs will be created. My Economic Development Task Force is certainly interested."
He did not think coverage was a problem saying MTS reached 90 percent of the country and that was being boosted by increased take up of Freeview. Sub-licensing would also ensure wider pick up.
"MTS also has available time to extend their broadcast hours, and a track record of innovative event programming and strong sports coverage. "
We have lots of challenges and this seems a bit lower on the priority list to me. I am looking forward to hearing what the task force is coming back with... it's been a while since they first got together.