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Anderton: Maori & the sustainable energy business

Maori and the sustainable energy business

Maori are making a strong contribution to lifting our energy production - that's good for both Maori and New Zealand.

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Thursday 4 August
Wairakei Resort
Taupo

SPEECH NOTES

Acknowledgements:

Chair Derek Fox

Fellow speakers from Energy Companies, Crown Agencies, Research Institutes, Universities and energy related businesses

Ladies and Gentleman

Sustainable development is central to my work as Minister for Economic Development.

One of the first actions I took on becoming Minister was to ensure that sustainable development formed a central goal of the new ministry.

When it comes to talking about 'sustainability', it's a good thing that words are a renewable resource.

If I had my way, we wouldn't use this jargon.

Instead of talking about 'sustainable development', we would talk about the important ideas behind the concept.

The idea of sustainable development can be explained like this:

'Meeting the needs of today's generation and ensuring that there is a future for our young people here in New Zealand.'

Sustainable development is about improving the environmental, social and economic conditions in which our children and their children will live.

It means ensuring that all young New Zealanders have hope for their future and the opportunity to make a competitive living.

For economic development to be successful and viable long term, it has to also encompass social development and environmental conservation.

I do not promote economic development to improve economic growth for its own sake, but as a means of lifting the living standards of all New Zealanders.

In 2003 the Labour Progressive government announced an action plan for sustainable development.

It set guiding objectives and principles for policy and decision making across the government sector.

Four key areas were chosen for practical action.

·Water
·Energy.
·Sustainable cities; and
·Child and youth development.

Plans for each of these were released last year.

The Sustainable Energy Programme, is part of this plan of action.

It aims to promote a reliable, resilient and environmentally responsible way forward for energy production in New Zealand.

A discussion document published last year has been the focus of discussion with stakeholders over the last six months.

Climate change and the future demands on limited oil production make it desirable to find new ways to produce energy.

The challenge is to find a way to meet our needs for energy in a way sustains our way of life, economy and our environment.

New Zealand uses a relatively high level of renewable energy by world standards - mainly hydro, but also geothermal and wind.

We are working on increasing the amount of power generated from renewable sources.

Our target is to an additional thirty petajoules of consumer energy from renewable sources by 2012.

(A petajoule is 278-thousand megawatt hours of energy. That's a lot of energy generation!)

We need to generate it through a range of sources in order to provide reliability and resilience to meet the demands of our national electricity system.

Maori can make great use of their assets to their own, as well as the country's advantage in this area.

There is a lot of work going on in the field of renewable energy sources.

In May this year we published a study on how much wind-generated electricity could technically be integrated into the New Zealand energy supply system.

The study, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), found that wind energy could supply around 35 per cent of New Zealand's future peak electricity demand.

That's a big opportunity for Maori with land in windy places around New Zealand.

The study is not intended to be a conclusive study but it helps us to look ahead and consider a future electricity supply system with a mixture of energy generation systems.

Wind energy only accounts for 2.5 per cent of peak electricity generation at the moment, but it is the fastest growing sector of the generation market.

There are still challenges in integrating wind power that are yet to be resolved.

But the future is looking very positive for wind power.

New tools are becoming available:
·wind forecasting software,

·a more diverse distribution of wind farms around the country
·and turbine technology which is has much in common with existing generation.

Wind is only one of many forms of generation.

You will all be well aware of the geothermal generation option at this conference.

Mokai-one, developed by Tuaropaki Trust's Tuaropaki Power Company, has a maximum output of 62 MegaWatts.

Mokai-two will have a nominal capacity of 39 MegaWatts.

Rotokawa, is now rated at 33 MegaWatts.

These geothermal stations are making a reasonable and welcome contribution to our power needs.

Wairakei itself produces more than 140 MegaWatts.

Solar power is also being developed around New Zealand.

We have increased the amount of assistance available for people wanting to buy solar water heating units this year.

This year $400,000 will be made available for this purpose, up from $200,000 last year.

Under the scheme, people can get interest free loans to buy and install solar water heating.

Since it started, the scheme has proved to be very successful.

In order to improve the security of supply for electricity, we have to develop a diverse range of opportunities.

Wind, hydro, geothermal, co-generation, solar and more all need to be in the mix.

For example, wind is fine when the wind is blowing, but when it's not, hydro and geothermal are ready and waiting.

If the water is low we have gas supplemented by wind and solar. And so it goes.

Further research work is going on between MED, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and the Electricity Commission to work out how best to plan for future generation and conservation.

Maori involvement in energy generation clearly has benefits for both Maori, but also, for the whole country.

It will add to the work already going on in the Maori community, to lift performance, and have greater control over their own economic and social development.

The ingredients for Maori economic success are the same as for any one else.

Increasing productivity through higher skills, technology, marketing and through innovation and creativity.

There are some obvious hurdles for many Maori to overcome.

The Ministry Economic Development is looking to deepen its understanding of some of these; such as how institutional arrangements can undermine access to finance, for example.

While we need to break down the barriers to development, there are advantages to build on as well.

New Zealand is the only place in the world where Maori expression and creativity can be commercialised.

It's hard to copy creativity of any sort, but Maori creativity can only come from here; it can never be picked up and removed to another country.

The most important development in global markets today is the increasing demand for uniqueness.

Production runs are getting shorter.

Markets are becoming more niched.

Consumers want products that are differentiated.

So as a result - we're building on these opportunities.

For example:

Earlier this year the Auckland group, Toi Whenua, was awarded $66,150 funding to develop opportunities during their Matariki celebrations into business opportunities.

In 2000 there were seven events in Auckland's Matariki festival.

By 2004 the festival had grown to 90 events and over 12,000 people attended.

The funding will help the organisers develop the festival further enable Auckland to make even greater returns from the annual event.

It will lead to increased tourism, sales of Maori art and improved business and product development skills for participants in the festival organization.

Down the coast in Tairawhiti, funding was awarded to investigate the potential for a voyaging centre.

It would celebrate the sea journeys made by Maori and European people to New Zealand.

Gisborne has some of New Zealand's most significant historical sites, and these will form the basis of the centre.

The voyaging centre is expected to be an attraction for independent travellers who have an interest in New Zealand's culture and heritage and who wish to explore those parts of New Zealand which are away from the main tourist routes.

It has the potential to become a key tourist attraction for New Zealand.

Again in Tairawhiti - a Major Regional Initiative is now underway which brings the potential of underutilised Maori land together with exporters who are keen to source produce locally.

Projects being set up include lamb finishing, sustainable farm management, natural food ingredients and development of kiwifruit orchards.

We have food businesses in the region, looking for land to expand capacity - and we have land in need of investment.

The regional partnership there will bring these together to enable Tairawhiti communities and businesses to work together to take advantage of commercial opportunities offshore.

An entity established by the Tairawhiti Development Taskforce - the Tairawhiti Land Development Trust - is leading the establishment of joint partnerships between land owners, (initially Maori land owners) and food processing and marketing businesses.

Export driven business success is the key to delivering economic growth to Maori and regional communities.

The projected economic benefit of this initiative stands at $320 million over the next ten years.

The Maori economy makes an important contribution to the national economy.

It delivers $700 million, or approximately 7.4 per cent of New Zealand's agricultural output.

This suits New Zealand, and it suits Maori in particular.

These are the sorts of advantages an economic development strategy can build on.

There are significant further opportunities to be developed.

Some Maori communities have access to:
·High sites for wind farms,
·Rivers and streams for micro-hydro development;
·Geothermal fields;
·Biomass in the form of crops and cuttings from forests;
·Crops for incorporating in biofuels.

The Labour-Progressive government is committed to facilitating more opportunities.

The Ministry of Economic Development has been set up to be proactive in setting up partnerships.

Several MED representatives are present.

They are here to listen, and to take on board your ideas and concerns.

Maori can have a very important role in the development of sustainable energy.

It is up to you to tell us how we can help you achieve your aims and aspirations in this very important area of our economic development.

This conference will no doubt be enlightening for all involved.

Let me wish you every success.

And I look forward to the contribution you make to our knowledge about how we can ensure a sustainable and prosperous future.

ENDS

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