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Maori Party Makes Gains In ETS Negotiations

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Pita Sharples
Pita Sharples

The Maori Party is pleased to have reached significant and meaningful progress with the Government on the Emissions Trading Scheme, particularly for whanau on low-incomes and iwi with major interests in forestry, farming and fisheries.

As a result of the negotiations, the Maori Party will support forthcoming legislation through to Select Committee.

"We argued that the ETS must not disproportionately affect whanau vulnerable to increased living costs and iwi, so we're pleased to have made some gains on these fronts," co-leaders Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples said.

"We entered negotiations committed to the preservation of our environment, to ensure the finite resources of Papatuanuku are safeguarded and the Treaty is recognised.

"And we look forward to working closely with the Government on these matters so the protection offered to iwi over their lands, forests, fisheries - me a ratou taonga katoa - is not compromised by the ETS.

"At the end of the day we believe all iwi as well as other New Zealanders must take up every opportunity to think and live differently, to live sustainably.

"We welcome the Government's commitment to work closely with us and iwi to shape a sustainable future.

"Iwi are great innovators and we look forward to their ongoing leadership as architects of the models and policies that will come out of the ETS.

"We know we have a long way to go but we will continue to work hard to ensure the ETS is fair and equitable for hapu and iwi, and that they are able to participate in ongoing climate change policy development."

Key features negotiated between the Maori Party and the Government:

Impacts of power and petrol price charges will be halved.

A specific proposal to enhance the Government's energy efficiency assistance (including home heating and insulation) for low income households.

Treaty clause in the legislation to ensure Crown's obligations to its Treaty partner are not compromised by the ETS.

Recognition that iwi have issues with respect to deforestation provisions and their specific Treaty settlements where they have unknowingly been disadvantaged.

A commitment from Government to work with iwi and the Maori Party to find solutions for iwi with forests returned in Treaty settlements pre-ETS.

Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group to play an ongoing role in international negotiations to allow for offsetting.

Potential for Treaty partners to be jointly involved in afforestation programmes to deliver both climate change and biodiversity benefits.

Maori Party to be consulted closely on review of the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative and terms of reference and membership of the reference group.

Allocation of NZUs to iwi quota holders in respect of the fisheries industry.

Maori Party to be consulted, and iwi agricultural interests represented, in an agricultural advisory group.

Maori Party input into a National Policy Statement under the Resource Management Act on indigenous vegetation to protect New Zealand's unique biodiversity.

Government to work with the Maori Party to invest in domestic research priorities and an international initiative to address agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

Maori Party input into ongoing dialogue on a broader environmental policy programme.

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