Maori Party welcomes back-down on forestry confiscation

Thursday 20 September 2007, 5:45PM
By Tariana Turia

The Maori Party congratulated the New Zealand Forestry Industry and the Federation of Maori Authorities in their success in helping the Government to see the light of day.

The NZ Forestry Industry Six Point Plan, which the Maori Party endorsed on 22 March 2007, called for land owners with Kyoto qualifying forests (forests planted from 1990), as well as those replanting non-Kyoto forests after harvest, to financially benefit from the value of the carbon their forests remove from the atmosphere.

“While we are disappointed that it took the Government six months to agree with the stance, it is still very positive news that they have reversed their decision on the allocation of carbon credits on forests” said Tariana Turia, Co-Leader of the Maori Party.

“Tangata whenua have been vocal in their criticism of the Crown in claiming ownership of the carbon credits of Maori owned forests on Maori land – and Crown owned forests on Maori land” said Mrs Turia.

“In particular, we commend the initiative of the Federation of Maori Authorities which has taken a case to the Waitangi Tribunal to challenge the Government’s carbon credit confiscation” said Mrs Turia.

“Mind you – it’s important not to miss the wood for the trees on this one” said Mrs Turia. “Mr Anderton’s speech does not exactly engender confidence or certainty that forest owners are still not going to be penalised while at the same time encouraging carbon-reducing behaviour”.

Background information:

Jim Anderton said “Over the past few years the Government has maintained that foresters have no automatic right to these credits and this remains our position. However…there is a good case for also devolving the benefits that arise from Kyoto. Of course the benefits don’t accrue without liabilities”.