“Our key concern was to see that in any change to the operation of the ETS that whanau would not be adversely disadvantaged” said Tariana Turia, Co-leader of the Maori Party.
Protecting Vulnerable Families from Economic impacts
Mrs Turia said “we believe that any amendments to be made needed to minimise the impacts on households, particularly during a time of economic recovery”.
“In 2009, we argued that ETS must not disproportionately affect whanau vulnerable to increased living costs and so we support the agreement to keep the ‘one for two’ surrender obligation in place, to reduce the impact on households, especially in respect of the cost of fuel and energy”.
“Fuel poverty, where a family or individual needs to spend more than 10% of their income on energy to have a warm home, has become a significant concern for too many families, and we were therefore opposed to any changes which may have served to increase the burden of change on households”.
Mrs Turia said “the introduction of a forestry offsetting option has been well received by iwi and Maori. In accordance with the 2011 Relationship Accord, “the M?ori Party will work with the Government to introduce offsetting of pre-1990 forests”.
In 2009, we negotiated an arrangement to enable the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group to play an ongoing role in international negotiations to allow for offsetting. The single biggest issue for iwi Maori was the second tranche allocation and the introduction of flexible land use. That group submitted that the offsetting proposal assists in maintaining some flexibility over land use”.
Retention of the Second Tranche Pre-1990 Allocation
Mrs Turia said “they also recommended that the second tranche of pre 1990 forestry compensation would only be removed for those landowners who take up offsetting, and it is full credit to their work that this advice is reflected in the detail of the Government’s announcements today”.
“The Crown was clearly told – the full reduction or removal of the second tranche of NZUs would have had significant financial impacts on the compensation to iwi/Maori foresters; it may also have introduced risks to existing settlements and negotiations”.
Mrs Turia said “today, Government has announced that agricultural emissions will be left out of the ETS until at least 2015. While we accept the advice of the Iwi leadership group that there needs to be a delay until such time as affordable technologies are available to Iwi/Maori farmers, the M?ori Party would hope to see a rapid focus on development so that agriculture can enter the ETS as soon as possible.
“Finally, we recognise that ETS should not be the only mechanism to reduce emissions. We look forward to working with the Government on a broader suite of complementary measures, including education and information for whanau to adapt to a carbon-constrained environment”, ended Mrs Turia.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kaapua Smith-Purkis 021 943 070