24 Nov 2009

ETS deal causes ructions across Maoridom

9:09 pm on 24 November 2009

The Maori Party's decision to back the Government's amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme is causing ructions across Maoridom.

The Maori party is hailing the concessions it has been able to extract from the National Party, such as extra home insulation, halved petrol and power price rises, consultation with iwi, and the issuing of carbon credits to fishing quota holders - many of whom are Maori - rather than boat owners.

But the big area where the party is trumpeting its success is a deal for iwi that settled Treaty of Waitangi claims before 1990 allowing them to plant trees on the DoC estate and get carbon credits.

Waatea News reports that this has prompted the iwi leaders forum, which used the same advisors as the Maori Party to evaluate the scheme, to praise it as benefitting not only Maori but the nation.

Federation of Maori Authorities chief executive Rino Tirikatene says, however, that while five iwi with pre-1990 claims have been looked after with arrangements that will allow them to develop their land without penalty, many private Maori forestry owners have been left out in the cold.

That, he says, could end up costing Maori an estimated $6 billion over time.

Labour and the Greens will oppose the legislation, saying that ordinary Maori families will face price rises and won't get much- needed services because the scheme will eat up scarce government funds.