New Forestry Minister Talks Ā-Kanohi with Te Taumata on ETS Review

New Forestry Minister Talks Ā-Kanohi with Te Taumata on ETS Review

Last Friday (28 April), Te Taumata met kanohi-ki-te-kanohi with the new Minister for Forestry, Peeni Henare in Rotorua to voice their concerns regarding the ETS review.

“Minister Henare was fully briefed on our issues, including explaining our efforts over the past year, initially led by the late Ta Toby Curtis, who fought against government plans to strip away Māori land rights and to choose how we use our lands, through legislation or regulation,” said Te Taumata Chairman, Chris Karamea Insley.

“Forestry interests have the potential to bring more than $16 billion in earnings to the Māori economy from otherwise unproductive land, while providing an intergenerational legacy through participation in Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate action and supporting the long-term transition to native forests. It is the best chance Aotearoa has to get to our climate targets and reduce the cost to taxpayers of imported units at 2030. 

“We should reinforce that we do not believe forest planting should occur on productive farmland and have never advocated for that fact.

“Dr Rod Carr, Chairman of the Climate Commission, along with Climate Change Minister James Shaw and other Officials, have a very clear personal agenda to kill off permanent exotic forestry on marginal lands. They are philosophically opposed to exotic trees. They want to see only natives planted. Native planting cannot get us to our 2050 climate target because they grow so slowly – it’s impossible!

“I explained to Minister Henare that Dr Carr needs to be formally held to account for the harm he is doing to Māori, enabled by Minister James Shaw, where he has gone way outside of his climate mandate and straying into New Zealand Finance and Economic policy! 

“At this hui, I called on Minister Henare that Government need to announce publicly its intention to go back to first principles, tear up current ETS Review process and start from scratch! Kanohi ki te kanohi!

“I would like to express my congratulations and thanks to Minister Henare for meeting with us ā-kanohi (in-person), as we have been urging government officials to do so for several months,” said Mr Insley.

Read more in our pānui below.

Government’s recent ETS consultation with Māori a breach of Te Tiriti

Since the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) changes were announced last year,  Te Taumata, on behalf of Māori forestry landowners, has fiercely advocated our position and for transparent and authentic engagement from Government.

Unfortunately, actions by government officials over the last months clearly display a disregard for the basic principles of good faith and partnership.

Most recently, Te Taumata was given less than two days to respond to the Government’s request for feedback on their latest review of the ETS. This, despite officials working on a comprehensive report and analysis into transition forestry ‘Toitū te whenua, Toitū ngā hua o Tāne review for more than six months, which was provided to the Government on 24 Match 2023.

Te Taumata Chair, Chris Karamea Insley, says the idea of the Government offering less than two working days of ‘consultation’, under constraints of a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), with no warning or prior engagement, on matters of such fundamental importance to the Government’s Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner is wholly inappropriate.

“Te Taumata and other Māori forestry landowners have effectively been ambushed by officials, with no time to properly respond on an issue that is vitally important to the Māori economy,” Mr Insley says.

“The officials involved in this process were directed six months ago by Cabinet that engaging with Māori would be critical to this process.

“Offering less than 48 hours to respond under a strict NDA, where the groups are unable to seek wider advice from their governance boards and their forestry and technical advisors on issues of such import to Māori forestry interests, is making a mockery of that instruction, especially when the terms of the NDA are so strict that information was not even able to be shared with the groups we represent!”

Mr Insley says it is clear that officials have conducted a significant amount of work during the last six months to prepare for the review. The review’s scope is broad and has the potential to impact future forestry investment – points previously emphasised to Cabinet by Minster of Forestry Stuart Nash.

“Despite the extensive nature of officials’ work, and the review’s significance and potential impacts, we were unaware this work was being undertaken – even though we were working closely with officials on forestry issues over several months.”

As a result, Te Taumata is seeking an immediate review of the Government’s process, an extension of the review period, and a lifting of the NDAs to allow for proper and open consultation.

In addition, Te Taumata is specifically seeking the Government’s position on the analysis that Te Taumata has completed into transition forestry, and clarification on the Government’s recent proposal to significantly increase the fees associated with the ETS.

Mr Insley says forestry interests have the potential to bring more than $16 billion in earnings to the Māori economy from otherwise unproductive land while providing an intergenerational legacy through participation in the Aotearoa’s climate action and supporting the long-term transition to native forests.

“These are fundamental issues with wide-ranging consequences that cannot be considered within negligible timeframes under a cloak of secrecy.

“We demand the Government takes its responsibilities as a Te Tiriti partner seriously, to recognise the rights of tangata whenua to make decisions about their own land, and commit to engaging fully and openly with Māori on matters of such momentous importance,” Mr Insley says.

“While our recent engagement with officials have been both frustrating and disappointing, we remain hopeful that there can be a sensible dialogue about the role of forestry in the ETS. We are also optimistic that constructive kōrero can be had with the Government to move matters forward in a transparent and Te Tiriti-compliant manner.

“We will not rest until we are adequately heard – Ka whawhai tonu mātou mō te āke, āke, āke!”



Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

CCAB delivers programs that facilitate the growth of Indigenous business, build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous business, and ensure life-long learning for Indigenous entrepreneurs, and other Canadian business leaders. These efforts recognise the central role that Indigenous business and communities hold in the future of Canada.
Our mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities and awareness for all of our members.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The Ministry acts in the world to make New Zealanders safer and more prosperous.
E mahi ana te Manatū i te Ao kia whai haumaru me te whai rawa mo Aotearoa.
New Zealand’s security and prosperity depend on the conditions in, and our connections with, the wider world. This means we must engage with – and seek to influence – other countries to our advantage, in line with New Zealand’s values and interests including that of Maori.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the government agency charged with helping New Zealand businesses to grow internationally.
We use our extensive knowledge and global networks to help exporters of all sizes make better decisions and connect to the right partners and investors.
We connect international businesses and investors with high-value growth opportunities in New Zealand.
By supporting New Zealand businesses, we boost New Zealand's economy and reputation, and help to share what's special about New Zealand with the rest of the world.

Callaghan Innovation

We are New Zealand's innovation agency. We activate innovation and help businesses grow faster for a better New Zealand.
We partner with ambitious businesses of all sizes, providing a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of growth.
Our people – including more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists and engineers – empower innovators by connecting people, opportunities and networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development programmes, and grants co-funding.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) plays a central role in shaping and delivering a strong New Zealand economy.
Our role is to create better outcomes for all New Zealanders, particularly by supporting business growth.
We are responsible for the delivery of advice, regulation and services that have a real impact on people, businesses and the environment within which they operate.