September 22, 2023
Climate forest Cushen
The Climate Forest Association says a new fee structure for the industry is a mafia-like cash grab.
The Ministry of Primary Industries and Te Uru Rakau will introduce a new fixed annual feel and 22 new service fees on October 19.
That will mean a fee increase of more than 4000 percent to Maori landowners who have planted their marginal land in climate forests.
Association chief executive Andrew Cushen told Radio Waatea talk host Donna Awatere-Huata the ministry will collect more than $30 million a year to process forms which foresters are required to fill out.
It’s told them if they don’t like the fees they can pull their forests out of the emissions trading scheme before the new regime comes into effect.
“I’m sorry – I can’t rip up a 30 year minimum forest. I can’t go and change a land use I committed to some years ago. I can’t go back to my investors and partners and landowners and say ‘whoopsie, I need to leave in a month’s time. That’s not realistic. That’s not fair, to turn around and say you either pay this mafia-like tax for playing in a system you’ve already committed to or you can just go,” Mr Cushen says.
He says the emissions trading scheme represents a once in a generation opportunity for Maori to earn value from the marginal land they have left, but Government is ripping the rug out from under them with new taxes.