October 29, 2019
PanPac farm to forest deal draws Māori fire
A decision to give Japanese-owned Pan Pac Forest Products a standing consent to by up to 20,000 hectares for forestry without pre-approval from the Overseas Investment Office has angered the New Zealand Māori Council and the Māori Climate Commissioner.
Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage says Pan Pac had been in New Zealand since the 1970s, and was a large exporter of quality timber with a strong workforce.
It has wood processing mills at Whirinaki, north of Napier, and at Milburn, south of Dunedin.
She says the company is able to add value to New Zealand’s forestry exports.
But Māori Council executive director Matt Tukaki says as a Green MP Ms Sage should be fighting to protect the land rather than sell it off.
Māori Climate commissioner Donna Awatere Huata says if the Government is serious about addressing the climate crisis it should encourage local owners including Māori to plant permanent carbon forests in appropriate places, rather than give foreign investors carte blanche to buy up local land to turn into rotational forests with few carbon benefits.
Copyright © 2019, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com