Te Taumata has welcomed a National Party commitment that they would not make any changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) if voted into government at the upcoming election.
National’s guarantee to maintain the ETS and provide certainty for continued investment in forestry is an important commitment to the future of Māori.
The Coalition Government’s decisions in the past year caused significant market volatility – and a massive financial impact for Māori entities.
The government’s choice not to follow Climate Change Commission advice on ETS settings led to a price drop late last year, while the June release of it’s ETS consultation documents caused the secondary market to plummet to a two-year low.
However, following a high court ruling that demanded a review of the decision-making process, the government eventually adopted the Climate Change Commission’s advice, leading to a price lift once again.
In an attempt to mitigate against an ETS market crash, Te Taumata tried to delay the release of the ETS consultation documents, but the High Court ruled against the request.
The proposed ETS reforms have already cost Māori millions in the loss of asset value, land values and investment opportunities, literally slashing millions from their balance sheets and Treaty settlements.
As a result, Te Pāti Māori has questioned the government on whether its actions were appropriate under Te Tiriti.
Forestry is a vital economic asset for Māori, creating jobs, investment and the opportunity to support the economic futures of generations. It’s also been made abundantly clear what is at stake in their ETS review: a $16 billion economic opportunity for Māori through participation in the carbon economy.