The ETS, the Maori Party and “a win for all NZers”

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A deal between National and the Maori Party to push emissions trading scheme legislation through Parliament under urgency this week will see 8000 extra low income households insulated and a windfall for some Maori foresters. Details of the deal were announced this afternoon by Prime Minister John Key, Climate Change Minister Nick Smith and Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples.

FreshDr Sharples hailed it as a win for all New Zealanders and said it would allow the creation of large-scale permanent forests. Around 35,000 ha of Conservation land will be set aside for some iwi – notably big South Island tribe Ngai Tahu – to plant for ”carbon credits” under the deal, while other iwi will also work with the government to facilitate indigenous planting.

The deal on forests was necessary as redress to those tribes whose treaty settlements were unknowingly devalued by the Kyoto Protocol, the government says.

Other concessions won by the Maori Party in return for its support included measures the cushion the blow on low income families by halving power and petrol price rises in comparison with previous estimates, Dr Sharples said. The Maori Party had also negotiated an extra $24 million in new money to insulate houses lived in by community service card holders.

Other key concessions included:

  • A Treaty of Waitangi clause in the emissions trading legislation.
  • The government paying for iwi representatives to travel to Copenhagen for world climate change talks next month.
  • Agreement to continue funding the Enviro-schools programme
  • A bigger allocation of carbon credits for the fishing industry and agreement that they will be paid to quota holders instead of fishing vessel owners. A number of iwi have large fishing quota.

Dr Smith said the deal struck the right balance in protecting the future of the economy and the environment. It also protected the integrity of existing treaty settlements and ensured Maori – as major participatants in agriculture, forestry and fishing – were not disproportionately disadvantaged.

Online forums have been running hot with many arguing that the these concessions are simply “pork bones” and not meaningful.

3 COMMENTS

  1. National’s legislation gives emitters ongoing rights to pollute by shifting the costs of emissions from the polluters to the taxpayer. The subsidies go on for perpetuity. Treasury now estimates the overall fiscal cost of allocation to amount to $110 billion by 2050. This cost will go to our mokopuna. This will mean more debt for our children and less $ for health and education and other services. And for what price did the Maori Party agree to this? As Wakapaddler states above, for A few blankets and muskets to some narrow vested interests

  2. This amounts to what we view looking back into the past as a few blankets a hatchet and a bag of tobacco. It seemed to some that that was a good deal. I wonder what our whakapapa in the future will view this deal. I suspect they would view this in history as the time when the Maori party sold out as a knee jerk reaction and counting the blankets as concessions.
    In the very near future we will have to pay an ETS tax similar to GST, what a rort that has been. having 8,000 extra homes insulated is a b.s. blanket compared with the billions that Maori families will have to fork out in the future.

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