ETS proposals frustrate Maori landowner group

Wednesday 18 May 2022

(RNZ) Māori leaders warn of legal action over emissions trading scheme forestry changes - Māori landowners are mulling legal action in an effort to stop proposed changes to the emissions trading scheme, which would see plantation forests no longer eligible for carbon credits.

But that could have a heavy impact on some iwi, who rely heavily on forestry to get income from their last remaining lands.

About 1.6 million hectares of the country remains in Māori hands, most of it the remaining slithers of a century of confiscation, reclassification, sales and land grabs.

But the head of the Māori Forestry Association, Te Kapunga Dewes, said much of that leftover land was considered marginal.

"Which means it's steep, erodable, in the middle of nowhere. It's still exceptionally valuable to us as Māori from a whakapapa and a relatedness perspective, but in terms of its economic wealth generation it's not that great."

Dewes said forestry was often the only way some iwi, hapū and Māori trusts were able to make money from their remaining land. In the case of the Central North Island it formed the basis of significant Treaty settlements.

But the government was proposing to remove exotic forests such as pine from the emissions trading scheme, a plan Dewes described as an outrage.

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Source: RNZ News

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