Photo: Getty Images.

Adam Gifford

James Shaw: Climate Minister to meet Maori forest owners

Maori landowner concerns about changes to the emissions trading system may start to have an impact.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw did not appear at a scheduled Rotorua hui to discuss the removal of exotic forests from the permanent category of the ETS, but said he had met the chairman of the Maori Forestry Association, Te Kapunga Dewes, and that he was working on organizing other meetings.

“We want to make sure there is a wider group of ministers involved as there are wider issues besides the emissions trading system. There are forestry issues, there are Te Tiriti issues, and so on. One of the benefits of the upcoming meeting is that we can bring a range of ministers there, but obviously I would still love to go back to Rotorua and meet there,” he said.

The owners say carbon farming of exotic forests is the only viable use for many remote and marginal Maori lands, and the ETS change will exclude them from a $7 billion opportunity.