Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Maori landowners want climate change escape

Maori farming and forest interests are demanding there be zero cost if they want to switch land use under a new emissions trading scheme.

Consultant Willie te Aho says a hui in Rotorua this morning resoundingly backed the proposals put up with the Iwi Leadership Group which is consulting with the Government on climate change issues.

He says as the Government is keen to get its amendments through before the United Nations climate change hui in Copenhagen next month, the price for Maori Party support shuld be removing proposed fees that will be charged if forest is cleared for pasture or other use.

“If I want to change 10 hectares of my pre-1990 forest land from forestry to farming then there’s zero cost, and that’s actually a bottom line from the hui today. If that issue is not supported and clearly reflected in the legislation then the iwi leadership group will be advocating the Maori Party not support this legislation,” Willie Te Aho says.

Many Maori blocks were put into long term forestry leases at a time owners had little say about what was done with their land, but times have moved on.


What started as an explanation by Hone Harawira about his trip to Paris is turning into a dogfight between the embattled Maori Party MP and Labour leader Phil Goff.

Mr Harawira made the rounds of media this morning, starting with an interview with Willie Jackson on Auckland's Radio Waatea, justifying his trip to the city of love and apologising for the abusive language used in an email to a Maori Party supporter who jokingly questioned him about who paid for wife Hilda to go along.

He also attacked Mr Goff, who'd preceded him on the station, saying he should be lined up against a wall and shot for Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Mr Goff says Hone Harawira has still not apologised for misusing taxpayer funds.

“He actually doesn't think he’s done anything wrong. He says it’s ok to rip off the taxpayer because it’s those white mother-fs that have caused so much trouble. I think he’s still living in a world where when he stuffs up, he has to blame somebody else and why me needs to bring race into that and make derogatory obscene and offensive comments against another group based on the colour of their skin won’t I think be acceptable to Maori or Pakeha in New Zealand,” Mr Goff says parliamentary trips aren't done for personal gratification.


The Kiwis' Maori leadership needs to be given more time to prove their worth, according to sports commentator Ken Laban.

The national league squad captained by Benji Marshall and coached by Steve Kearney were bundled out of the Four Nations Championship on the weekend, going down to England 20-12.

Mr Laban says the team has lost three out of its four tests this year.

"He's a new coach. Benji Marshall’s a new captain. I think on this occasion we’ll probably cut both of them a bit of slack but by any measure it’s been a poor year . We need to give them another year in charge before we make any definitive judgments on their long term future," Mr Laban says.

Steve Kearny has had his contract with the NZRL extended to 2012.


An attempt to create an iwi-driven alternative to the Foreshore and Seabed Act is entering choppy waters.

A national hui at Rotorua today discussed a work plan put up by an Iwi Leaders's forum in Hopuhopu last month, in response to indication the Government is open to the idea of scrapping the contentious Act.

But some Maori feel excluded.

Iwi leaders including Tukoroirangi Morgan of Tainui and Mark Solomon of Ngai Tahu were pushing for a working group to put together a new framework which will take into account mana whenua and mana iwi as well as the current agreements of Ngati Porou, Ngati Pahauwera, Te Rarawa and Te Whanau a Apanui in developing a replacement framework for the seabed and foreshore Act.

But lawyers Annette Sykes of Ngati Pikiao and Jason Pou of Ngapuhi say the group is moving too quickly and excluding some iwi.

They say the group cannot proceed until all iwi are on board the waka.


Meanwhile, Labour leader Phil Goff is denying a charge the Foreshore and Seabed Act was the single largest nationalisation of land in the history of Aotearoa.

The charge was made by embattled Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, explaining to Radio Waatea host Willie Jackson why he rejected Mr Goff's call he be suspended from Parliament for last month's unauthorised side trip to Paris when he was supposed to be at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Mr Harawira says Mr Goff and his Labour colleagues should be lined up against the wall and shot for pushing through the Act.

But Mr Goff says the Taitokerau MP is distorting history.

“There's been no confiscation of land and indeed Ngati Porou and Whanau a Papanui have either negotiated or are in the process of negotiating deals they think are very good in the context of that legislation to provide specific protections over land which land which they would have customary title and over land waahi tapu that needs to be protected,” Mr Goff says.

He says Hone Harawira is throwing up smokescreens rather than accepting his abuse of taxpayer money and subsequent obscene and racist statements were unacceptable.


The chair of Rotorua's oldest Maori land incorporation is confident the environment won't suffer from a proposed $200 million geothermal power station between lakes Rotoiti and Rotoma.

Environment Bay of Plenty is holding consent hearings this week on Rotoma No 1's plans.

Robbie Gardiner says the 35 kw power station will draw steam from deep underground, so it won't affect the Soda Springs hot pools on the shores of Rotoma or the bush at Hongi's track, which runs between the two lakes.

He says it is disappointing Maori are among 10 objectors.

“Our neighbours are objecting to the fact of waahi tapu which is quite sad because we are Maori, we come from Rotoma so if anything tapu happens, we know what the procedure is for Te Arawa. We will treat anything like that with profound respect,” Mr Gardiner says.

The conditions sought will also protect water and air quality.


Blogger Canada Guy said...

Everyone knows that preventing climate change, or at least the worst consequences of it, is not going to be easy. While the task required is large and difficult, there are some simple, quick, and easy fixes that can make a real difference, and perhaps even buy us more time. But they are being ignored.


6:19 AM  

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