(Waatea News)  An iwi negotiator observing the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Durban says Maori landowners should soon be free to change land use without paying a heavy penalty.

Chris Insley from the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says Maori landowners are among the largest generators and users of New Zealand carbon credit units, so it’s important they have a market regime that is robust and transparent.

He says that includes some flexibility of land use, which should happen under changes agreed in South Africa this month which will allow owners who have forests on flat land to replant on hill country which is more suitable for growing trees.

Iwi are also keen to see the New Zealand government invest in research and technology that will allow Maori farmers and growers to lower their carbon emissions.

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