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Ed Sheeran

Māori lagging on climate change opportunity

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The Māori climate change commissioner says Māori are sitting on a huge asset in the fight against global warming, but the government isn’t doing a good job of reaching out to them.

Donna Awatere-Huata is on a 20-centre tour with Māori Climate Foundation chair Sir Mark Solomon and former MP's Hone Harawira and Dame Tariana Turia to explain a new private scheme to get Māori land planted with trees and share the carbon credits.

With the price of carbon now about $25 a tonne and rising, planting trees is an attractive option for large tracts of marginal Māori land.

But she says the Environment Ministry hasn’t done a good job of explaining the proposition to Māori.

"Climate change is actually a marae, a hapū event because that is where the impacts are going to be felt and dealt with so the fact they met with only two out of hundreds of tribes to start with is deeply concerning and when you look at the submissions on the zero carbon bill, there were 15,000 submissions and 26 of them came from Māori," Ms Awatere Huata says.

She says Māori are interested in carbon farming but wary because of the way the previous Government undermined the emissions trading scheme by allowing polluters to buy cheap carbon credits from overseas.





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