June 20, 2023
ETS changes “nationalization” of Māori forest units
Plans to overhaul the emissions trading scheme have alarmed the Māori climate change commissioner, Donna Awatere Huata.
The Government yesterday released four options for consultation, including reducing the number of emissions units available for auction, and increasing the demand for units by allowing the Government and/or overseas buyers to buy them.
It will also reconsider removing exotic forestry from the permanent forest category, which Māori landowners have opposed,
Ms Awatere Huata says changes to the ETS will have a huge effect on the Maori economy because the majority of whenua Maori is in forestry and forestry is a bigger employer of Maori than farming and fishing.
“And the guts of what the ETS review is doing is basically nationalising the ETS so those Maori who have forestry land have to sell their carbon units to government,” she says.
Donna Awatere Huata says she’s also concerned at proposals to give councils more say in whether forests can be planted, as local government has no history of supporting Maori interests.