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Iwi step up pressure on carbon plan

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A Maori forestry consultant is accusing the government of fudging the figures on climate change at a huge cost to iwi.

Chris Karamea Insley says iwi are exposed to climate change policy because of their stakes in forestry, farming and fishing.

He says National’s 2012 decision to allow the use of cheap European carbon credits benefited polluters, like energy companies, and cost iwi $600 million in lower asset values.

Mr Insley says iwi leaders have asked the Government to fix the carbon price at around $15 a tonne.

"It would attract $800 million of foreign direct investment to plant 100,000 hectares of new forest per year for 10 years on Maori land targeting the 1.2 million hectares of under-utilised land we keep getting told about. It would create 50,000 new permanent jobs. It would restore $400 million of the lost $600 million that would be reinvested by iwi," he says.

Mr Insley says the current policy means forests aren’t being replanted, which means New Zealand is slipping further behind in its international commitments.

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