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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Goff slams iwi forum as selfish

Labour is accusing the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Forum of buying into pork barrel politics with its support of the Government's emissions trading scheme.

Leader Phil Goff says the changes going through parliament this week with the support of the Maori Party will benefit a few large iwi corporates.

Forum chair Api Mahuika says the scheme is far better than the one passed by the Labour government.

But Mr Goff says at the deal is at the expense of taxpayers.

“If you are only looking at the narrow pork barrel politics of your own business and not the overall well being of the community, Maori and Pakeha, you’re not worried about the taxpayer who’s paying for it and you’re not worried about the legal opinions that are ignored to suit a dirty political deal, then you might say that,” Mr Goff says.

He says the scheme is not sustainable and a future Labour Government will repeal it.


But an adviser to the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Forum says it's a great opportunity to offset the liabilities which would have owners of pre-1990 forestry land.

Willie te Aho says the five iwi covered in the deal going through this week we facing the prospect of their treaty settlements forests plummeting in value without the change.

He says the forum is continuing to work on a system to allow other pre-1990 forest owners to plant forests on conservation land.

This will take account of the fact the Kyoto regime requires landowners to pay if they don't replant the same blocks.

“It's basically saying that we will grow carbon on Crown land without the cost of leasing the land and we will use that profit to offset the cost of deforesting lands on other pre-1990 (forests) so it’s about creating a fund that can offset the costs of deforesting pre-1990 forest lands,” Willie te Aho says.

Maori own about 70 percent of pre-1990 production forests.


If you see white ribbons around today, that's a call for men to end violence against women.

Child advocacy group Te Kahui Mana Ririki is hosting a men's breakfast at St Johns Theological College in Auckland to highlight the challenge in Maori communities.

Spokesperson Anton Blank says campaigns like It's Not Okay are changing attitudes, but there is a long way to go, with rates of violence again Maori women still far too high.

“Maori women are seven times as likely to be hospitalised as a result of being battered than other groups of women but what’s good to see is we have an emerging group of men who are taking responsibility for this issue and figuring out how to work with other men to achieve those changes,” Mr Blank says.

Speakers at this morning's breakfast include It's Not Okay frontman Alfred Ngaro and Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand.


Iwi leaders have thrown an olive branch to other forestry owners left out of the Government's emissions trading scheme.

The deal struck between National and the Maori Party this week will allow five iwi whose settlements included pre-1990 forests to plant trees on DOC land and collect the carbon credits.

Willie Te Aho from the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group says the next step is to provide a framework for other Maori landowners with pre-1990 forests to also plant on DoC land.

He says that could be extended to other forest owners.

“I've been approaching other pre-1990 exotic forest landowning groups to see how we can work together. Ultimately by the time this gets to Cabinet in February we want to see a wider approach if possible but the discussions are just beginning,” Mr Te Aho says.

He met yesterday with the Forest Owners Association, which had branded the iwi deal as unjust, and he'll be meeting its chairman again later in the week.


A National list MP has hit out at one of the country's most senior department heads for investigating him for breaching parliament's rules.

Ministry of Social Development chief executive Peter Hughes Is investigating a complaint from Labour MP Grant Robertson that Paul Quinn was using Work and Income to promote National Party policies.

Mr Quinn from Ngati Awa says he invited business leaders and community groups in the Hutt South electorate to a workshop to address the needs of young Maori unemployed.

He says by issuing public statements, Mr Hughes is giving legs to false accusations.

“What I find concerning is that Grant Robinson (sic) has been given a lot of wasted airtime because very senior public servants have given him some credence in his allegations,” Mr Quinn says.

He says the workshop was the sort of thing MPs should be supporting.


A top young Maori sailor from Te Teko leaves for Australia today for two months of competition.

Sixteen year old Rawiri Geddes from Ngati Awa and Ngaitai won last year's national winter champs in the laser radial class, and last Labour weekend took top honours in the open laser division in the Bay of Islands regatta.

He is set to race in the Australia Down under series in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and the Laser Open in Adelaide in before returning for the New Zealand Nationals off Timaru.

He says many rangatahi are put off by because they think it's an expensive sport, but it doesn't have to be.

He started sailing in club boats and borrowed boats, and only got his own boat last year.

Rawiri Geddes says his ambition is to race for New Zealand in an America's Cup.

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