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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Climate change cost for Maori $5 billion

A new report estimates restrictions on their forestry land because of climate change could cost Maori $5 billion.

Willie Te Aho, one of the negotiators of the Central North Island forestry settlement, says the figure is contained in a report the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has prepared for a hui called by the Climate Change Iwi Leadership group in Wellington today.

He says before emission control measures came into force earlier this year, many private forestry owners switched to dairy farming, which is more profitable.

Maori owners did not have the same option, because of existing leases or because of the terms of the forestry settlements.

“So what we are saying to the Government is don’t make things flexible for your mates now, then close the door and we are left with an inability to be able to achieve our economic goals just like these people are doing, so that’s one of or major challenges. Just looking at the figures, it’s a $5 billion issue for us,” Mr Te Aho says

“Rather the reacting to calls by organisations such as Greenpeace for a 40 percent cut in emission by 2020, he says Maori should be making their own case for what happens.


West Auckland based community organiser John Tamihere has come out in support of the Minister for Social Development Paula Bennett, and predicts a bright political future for her.

Ms Bennett, the National MP for Waitakere has come under critism recently from privacy watchdogs for releasing details of benefit amounts received by two solo parents.

Mr Tamihere, a former Labour cabinet minister, rates Ms Bennett highly and personally relates to her as someone who has come through the school of hard knocks, and has had the son in law from hell.

He says Ms Bennett isn't bland like most of the politicians in Wellington and John Key was savvy to give her such an important portfolio.

“I think it was one of the most ballsy decisions we have seen from a Prim Minister for a long time in appointer her to run welfare. Huge portfolio. Very complex. Been in the parliament two terms so quite new to it, but I really like the new energy and the new look of it. I think she’s in for a very good ride there,” Mr Tamihere says.

He says Paula Bennett will be part of the political scene for many years to come.


Whirimako Black’s new manager says the Tuhoe born singer is a household name in New Zealand and deserves global recognition.

On Friday the multi award winning Maori singer and composer launched her own website at Te Manukanuka Marae in Auckland.

Jamie Bull, whose other clients include taonga puoro expert Richard Nunns, says Black’s distinctive style and combination of reo and traditional Maori instruments has wide appeal.

“You say Whirimako and everyone knows who you are talking about. We know her here in Aotearoa. The rest of the world needs to know what it is she brings and it will be great fun exploring the offshore possibilities,” Ms Bull says.


Maori MP and Maori activist Hone Harawira says a constitution is a priority for the Maori Party and the Maori people.

The MP for Te Tai Tokerau says constitutional reform which is the big kaupapa on the horizon for the Maori Party is important so previous documents are protected.

“Every piece of legislation in the country has to give due recognition to the declaration of independence, and the Treaty of Waitangi. If we’re going to have a constitution, we want to make sure that those previous documents are going to be wrapped up in there and are going to be protected in there, and the principles our tupuna signed up to are going to be recognised forever,” Mr Harawira says.

He says adoption of a written constitution could be ten years away.


Political commentator Chris Trotter says the failure to elect Wira Gardiner to the National party executive reflects anti-Maori conservatism within National.

He says despite the National Government's relationship with the Maori Party, the delegates’ preferences suggest support of Maori kaupapa would only go so far.

Mr Trotter says while there have been patches in history when the National Party have worked well with Maori such as the treaty settlement work done by Jim Bolger and Doug Graham in the 1990's National has a sporadic record of backing Maori.

“The National Party remains a very conservative organization, particularly when it comes to race relations. It has never been at the forefront of affirmative action when it comes to Maori candidates and promoting Maori within the ranks of the party organisation itself,” Mr Trotter says.

He says Mr Gardiner's chances were derailed by a backlash against him for walking out on the party following former party leader Don Brash's Orewa speech which was seen as Maori bashing.


A Maori small-town company says bilingual diary/organiser it has developed is helping increasing numbers of people in their personal and professional lives.

Matakite co-founder Ana Turua says the dairy Orua: He Maramataka Maori has become ever more popular since it was launched in 2002

Ana Turua says Matakite also produces other products which complement the Orua diary/organiser.


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