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Climate Change Submission


Subject: Climate Change Submission

Date: 9 May 2008

In an Addendum to its submission to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on the Climate Change Bill, Maori land owner Morikaunui Incorporation has calculated that the deforestation liability for Maori owned pre-1990 forested land (at $40 per tonne of CO2) is $9.6 billion or 42.9% of the total liability for private landowners of $22.3 billion.

Native bush is excluded from the emissions trading scheme (“ETS”) and when the value of this is taken into account the total cost to Maori land owners is $14.5 billion or 27.2% of the total expropriated value of $53.2 billion from private forested land owners. To get these figures into perspective as to their magnitude, the total Treaty settlement cap is set at around $1.5 billion and GDP to 31 March 2007 was approximately $65 billion.

Carbon sequestered in native bush and pre-1990 exotic forests that are excluded from the ETS is worth about $1.3 billion annually according to Morikaunui, of which just under $659 million or 37% relates to Maori land. This is potential value that cannot be accessed under the Bill’s provisions.

A fundamental obstacle to the inclusion of pre-1990 forested Maori land in the ETS is that under the provisions of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993/Maori Land Act 1993, according to Morikaunui it is unlawful. Morikaunui contends that the imposition of the deforestation liability is alienation and as such has to be approved by 75% of owners and sanctioned by the Maori Land Court.

The Bill ignores these protections in the Maori Land Act.

For these reasons Morikaunui is asking that pre-1990 forested Maori land be excluded from the ETS.

Morikaunui is to appear before the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee on Monday 12 May.

The submission can be downloaded at


Note: The assumptions used in the value loss conclusions in the Press Release are all supported by interactive calculations that can be viewed at

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