Kyoto forest owners support pre-1990 counterparts

Tuesday 2 September 2008, 6:57PM
By Kyoto Forestry Association

The Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA), which represents owners of forests planted after 1 January 1990, has added its support to owners of pre-1990 forests, including members of the New Zealand Forest Owners Association Inc., the Flexible Land Use Alliance and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, who are concerned about the impact of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) on their land values.

“Our primary concern has always been with post-1989 forest owners receiving the value of the carbon credits that are rightfully ours,” KFA spokesman Roger Dickie said today.

“We were pleased with the announcement in September 2007 from Forestry Minister Jim Anderton confirming that. We need the ETS legislation passed to receive that value.

“Nevertheless, we also consider the provisions for pre-1990 forestry, which include deforestation taxes of up to $65,000 per hectare, to be unjust and counter to the goal of restoring confidence in the forestry industry to get planting underway again.

“We support Ngai Tahu and other pre-1990 forest owners in expressing their concerns in the Waitangi Tribunal and elsewhere.

“We believe the best option is to exclude pre-1990 forests from the ETS, as the Australians plan to do.

“Failing that, the Forestry Offset Scheme being promoted by the Flexible Land Use Alliance, along with an adequate compensation package, would ensure the all-important principle of land-use flexibility is maintained.

“Land use flexibility is essential to protect land values and has also been the backbone of the New Zealand economy for more than 100 years.”