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Fitzsimons supports Kyoto debate at Waitangi

5th February 2008

Fitzsimons supports Kyoto debate at Waitangi

Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says the inclusion of climate change and Kyoto debate at Waitangi demonstrates the importance to iwi around New Zealand of engaging with these issues.

Ms Fitzsimons is responding to 15 iwi leaders' opposition to the Emissions Trading Scheme legislation currently before Parliament.

"The Green Party recognises the concerns of iwi, with particular regard to forestry obligations under the Kyoto agreement.

"I agree that before final plans are laid out for the Emissions Trading Scheme, some engaged discussion needs to happen.

"The select committee process is the appropriate time for these discussions to occur, and I urge Maori leaders to engage with this and let their concerns be heard. I will be on the committee and I will be listening very closely to their submissions," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"The Green Party does not agree forestry lands returned under recent Treaty settlements should be subject to carbon charges if land use is changed after the first rotation. This penalty means that recent settlements could end up costing iwi more than the land is worth.

"The Green Party also believes that forest owners ought to be able to balance out their carbon obligations if they choose to convert a forest to other land use by replanting an equivalent Kyoto compliant alternative site.

"I look forward to discussing these issues both here at Waitangi and at the Emissions Trading Scheme Select Committee."


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