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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, November 27, 2009

ETS deal squalid politics - Moore

Former prime minister Mike Moore says the deal done to win the Maori Party's support for National's emissions trading scheme is squalid politics.

Five iwi whose treaty settlements included land with pre-1990 forests will be allowed to plant trees on Crown land to offset their carbon liabilities.

Mr Moore says treaty settlements can't be reopened every time future governments make changes which affect everybody.

He says good government means treating people even-handedly.

“Picking and choosing businesses because of politicians’ representations will end in tears. It creates what economists call a moral hazard. And the idea the government can decide this business will get this money despite its Maori competitors, despite its non-Maori competitors, I think takes us down a very dangerous road. I don’t think it’s right and I suspect New Zealanders don't think its right either,” Mr Moore says

He says the emissions trading scheme fails to give businesses the predictability they need to invest and grow.


But Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell says the party's ETS deal was in line with the normal parliamentary process of negotiation and compromise.

He says the Maori Party is taking flak, but it won valuable concessions, including a Treaty of Waitangi clause which allows future review.
He says if the party hadn't stepped up, National would have looked elsewhere.

“And that might have been to ACT, and they’re pretty firm in their agenda that they don’t believe climate change is all around us or it would have gone to the Labour Party and what would they have got to gain, they already had their scheme in place so the would be staying where they were. Would they have gone to the Greens, no so if they had not been able to get agreement anywhere else they would have had to stop everything,” Mr Flavell says.

He says not doing anything would have created problems for the future.


Otakou Runanga is concerned the find of an extremely rare pre-European waka outrigger beside the Papanui inlet could put the site at risk from illegal fossickers.

Manager Hoani Langsbury says the outrigger, only the third found in this country, was uncovered in an official archaeological excavation.

But he says any remaining taonga Maori may now be at risk from unofficial fossicking.

“Within the last year we’ve had a site identified that had both cultural and European archaeological material in it and as soon as the media made the local community aware of the find the material disappeared in 24 hours. People just came through and stripped the site bare,” Mr Langsbury says.

Runanga representatives will patrol the area and won't hesitate to take action against scavengers who try to steal artifacts.


Ngati Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana is the new chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana, after Sir Archie Taiaroa from Whanganui stepped down from the post.
Sonny Tau from Ngapuhi becomes the deputy chair of the trust.

Mr Tomoana says in his three years in the job Sir Archie had advanced the work of previous chairs Sir Tipene O'Regan and Shane Jones, with 95 percent of the Maori fisheries settlement assets now allocated to iwi.

He says the job ahead is to position Maori at the front of the industry and get iwi to work together.

“Iwi collectively own 35 to 40 percent of the assets but they don’t act like it. We all act like we’re one or two percenters and fringe players and it’s about uniting the efforts and energies, recognising the mana motuhake of every iwi as well,” Mr Tomoana says.

The allocation process should be complete by the middle of next year, with Cook Strait iwi Ngati Toa this week becoming the 50th iwi out of 57 to receive settlement assets.


The country's audiologists says cutbacks in ACC funding of hearing aids will have a particularly harsh effect on Maori.

A bill before parliament would remove ACC cover for people whose noise-induced hearing loss is judged to be less than six percent.

Lesley Hindmarsh, the president of the New Zealand Audiological Society, says Maori make up a high percentage of the workers in noisy industries such as forestry, construction and manufacturing.

She says they are already poorly served by the accident compensation system.

“They just find the process of applying to ACC too difficult. They just don’t have that help to help them find their way through the paperwork to get their claims initiated in the first instance,” Mrs Hindmarsh says.

Without hearing aids, sufferers won't be able to distinguish consonants like s,t, f and th which are critical for understanding, especially in noisy environments.


The force behind Auckland's Hineraukatauri Music Therapy centre is humbled by the generosity of two leading Maori entertainers who have rerecorded a Beatles track to raise funds for the centre.

Hinewehi Mohi says Che Fu and Boh Runga's cover of Come Together should be out early next week.

Ms Mohi says the centre, which is named after her teenage daughter who has cerebral palsy, touches the lives of dozens of disabled people who find relief and inspiration from working with musicians and sound.

She says Runga, a patron, has brought a lot of other musicians on board.

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