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Iwi Leaders welcome Labour policy on climate change

August 25th, 2014

Iwi Leaders welcome comprehensive Labour policy on climate change.

Labour’s policy to stamp out price – gouging by big polluters that has cost New Zealand tax-payers $1.4 billion over the last 3 years and especially impacted low – income Maori households has been welcomed by Dr. Apirana Mahuika, Chairman of the Iwi Leaders Group on Climate change.

“ Following a government commitment to Iwi in May 2012 to restrict the entry of cheap international into the ETS, the government walked away from this commitment in favor of the big emitters” say’s Dr. Mahuika. This cost Iwi around $600 million.

Iwi Leaders welcome Labour Party policy to restore the collapsed NZU price to a level that will drive behavior change to reduce emissions by polluters and, and drive new investment into forestry including, indigenous forestry.

“Our own analysis indicates that a price at around $15 per tonne would drive new investment into forestry in the regions targeting under utilized Maori lands at the rate of around 100,000 hectares per year for 10 years” says Chris Karamea Insley, advisor to Iwi Leaders.

“Critically, this would create 50,000 new and permanent jobs mostly with our people in the regions. This is significant towards keeping our whanau fully employed at home and on our marae” said Dr. Mahuika.

“Internationally such an initiative would become New Zealand’s strategy to meet our international emission reduction obligations over the medium term where the current government has no strategy” Mr. Insley said.

Investment into Research and Development towards reducing emissions from agriculture and complimentary measures that encourage and promote renewable energy technologies are critical elements of a comprehensive suite of policy alongside a realistic price on carbon.

“Currently the government has only a low and almost zero price on carbon and not surprisingly, New Zealand emissions have increased” says Mr. Insley.

Finally and most important for Iwi Mr. Insley says is; “Labour’s plan to establish an Independent Climate Commission and, a commitment to achieving a lasting consensus among New Zealand’s main political parties on the ETS is critical”.

“For most of the last 10 years New Zealand climate change policy has flip-flopped creating uncertainty and stifling investment especially into forestry and also into new low emission climate adaptation technologies”.


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