Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Land use deadline not for change

Review the Emissions Trading Scheme if you must... but don't tutu with the 2008 date... that's the warning from Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group.

The National Government has agreed to delay the implementation of the ETS, as part of its support agreement with ACT, until a full review is carried out.

Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says when the Labour Government released discussion documents on the ETS, it included a date of one January 2008 after which people who changed land use from forestry would have to pay a heavy price.

That heads-up prompted large scale deforestation as landowners and large corporations got out of forests before the scheme was introduced.

“The likes of Carter Holt Harvey deforesting up to 5000 hectares of land by the Waikato River. The likes of Wairakei Pastoral doing the same thing in the Tauupo catchment ands that has huge effects on the dynamics of the rivers system and I guess the health of the river so I hope they don’t go near touching that date,” Mr Te Aho says.

While Maori have concerns about some aspects of the ETS, particularly those that penalise Maori landowners with forest planted before 1990 if they want to switch to farming or other types of land use, the environmental consequences of any changes need to be factored into any new arrangements.

NATIVES BROUGHT INTO RUGBY HALL OF FAME

It is not before time that New Zealand's first touring rugby team to Britain... called New Zealand Natives... has been recognised by induction into the International Rugby Union's Hall of Fame this week.

That the view of former New Zealand Maori coach Matt Te Pou who says nearly two decades before the 1905 Originals became part of the country's folklore, New Zealand Natives did a mammoth 14-month, tour of Britain from 1888-89, winning 78 of their 107 games.

“14 months away from home and they did it tough. They were tough people. Today we go away with an army of players. They had a small number of players so effectively to play all of those 107 games, just showed the level of toughness and ruthlessness the players had,” Mr Te Pou says.

The New Zealand Natives were the beginning of the Maori All Blacks and instilled the desire to win which has existed in New Zealand rugby since.

HANGI COME UNDER HERETAUNGA FIRE BAN

The Hastings District Council is putting fire restrictions in place meaning any open fires... including hangi... will need a permit before a match is struck.

Paul Hawke, the Deputy principal rural fire officer says in the last few weeks they've had little or no rain, temperatures in the high 20s, and strong winds creating blast furnace like conditions.

He says marae with designated hangi areas and experienced operators aren't their primary concern... but everyone needs to be careful.

“Where it’s out in somebody’s paddock, it’s in somebody’s back yard, those are the conditions we need to ensure there is a lot more safety prevalent, particularly if it’s in a rural area around a lot of vegetation,” Mr Hawke says.

LANDOWNERS WANT FREE PASS ON LAND USE RESTRICTION

Maori landowners are hoping that a promised review of the Emissions Trading Scheme will grant them more freedom in the way they use their whenua.

The National Government has agreed to delay implementation of the ETS, as part of its support agreement with ACT, until a full review is carried out.

Willie Te Aho of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says tying landowners to forestry by making the cost of switching so restrictive is bad business.

“When you look at some of the lands, especially those that are4 coming back through the CNI settlement, and you look at the lovely rolling flats that have come back through the Reporaroa Waimaroke areas on the western side of the Kaingaroa Forest, those lands and the best use for those ands is agriculture, there’s no ifs, buts or maybe,” Mr Te Aho says.

NATIVE TEAM DESERVES GREATER RECOGNITION

A Maori rugby leader believes the New Zealand Natives team of 1888, which has this week been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, deserves greater recognition in New Zealand.

Former Maori All Black Coach Matt Te Pou says nearly two decades before the 1905 Originals became part of the country's folklore, the New Zealand Natives did a mammoth 14-month tour of Britain winning 78 of their 107 games, including a test against Ireland.

He says they were the first New Zealand team to wear the fern on the international stage, and they should be marked as the start of international rugby.

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