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Call For Climate Commission To Show More Vision, Working With Māori

The Climate Change Commission needs to be bolder in its approach and work more closely with Māori to achieve meaningful, inclusive and more ambitious domestic change says Māori Climate Commissioner Donna Awatere Huata.

The Climate Change Commission released its first draft budgets this week, outlining the actions it believes New Zealand needs to take to reach its climate commitments.

Māori Climate Commissioner Donna Awatere Huata says the Commission should be congratulated on what it has laid out in its draft blueprint, but more can be done to benefit all of Aotearoa – and the key to that is making greater efforts to include Māori in both the process and the outcomes.

“We have been encouraging the Commission to show vision in announcing ambitious targets that will not only ensure New Zealand meets its targets but that also – with the support of Māori – more is done domestically, making us an international leader in addressing the impacts of climate change for all communities, especially our most vulnerable,” says Commissioner Awatere Huata.

“We believe the Commission should be holding the line against the big business and farming lobbies, and putting the needs of all New Zealanders above those of industry.”

Commissioner Awatere Huata says, next to the Government, Māori have the most to contribute in terms of strategies and resources to reduce and offset emissions.

“From geothermal power, to carbon farming, to land use and resources, Māori have significant interests in the areas that could be not only the foundation for our climate response, but also an international model for engaging indigenous peoples in a climate response,” says Commissioner Awatere Huata.

“Some of these strategies could also be the key to unlocking the real value of Māori-owned assets for future generations – something the Government should be striving for as a partner in Te Tiriti o Waitangi.”

Commissioner Awatere Huata says it is unfortunate that, to date, the Commission’s engagement with Māori has been limited, as local iwi have the resources, traditional knowledge and experience to deliver real results in terms of removals, stewardship of the environment and the reduction of harm from the climate crisis.

“Māori not only have been proven to be more likely to feel the effects of climate change, we also have an enormous role to play in finding the best possible solutions for Aotearoa.”

“We own the land on which carbon farming solutions can be developed, we have the businesses that are already gaining international recognition for environmental sustainability and we have built this on a world view that is based on understanding and respecting our environment.”

“For the Commission to deliver a bold, meaningful strategy that truly represents us as a nation, Māori must be a partner and able to play a key role in its development.”

“The Commission must do more to work closely with Māori as they go through the next stage of their consultation.”

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