Te Taumata is deeply disappointed in the lack of a substantive response from Climate Change Minister James Shaw regarding our significant concerns about the proposed changes to managing exotic afforestation incentives

We have today written a letter to Minister Shaw requesting his attendance at a hui in Rotorua this month to discuss and respond to our concerns, in particular:

1. The statements that he and Minister Stuart Nash have made that misrepresent the position of Māori by suggesting we support the proposed changes to the management of exotic forestation.

2. The complete lack of genuine consultation and engagement with Māori and other interested parties regarding the proposed changes.

3. That the proposed changes would significantly devalue assets that have been given to Māori through the Te Tiriti settlement process.

As outlined in previous correspondence with Minister Shaw, the proposed changes are of considerable importance to Māori and others, with an estimated impact of $64 billion over the next 15 years.

We believe Ministers Shaw and Nash have breached the good faith and partnership obligations owed to Māori under Te Tiriti, which warrants a meaningful, substantive response and we seek an urgent redress.

While Te Taumata understands Minister Shaw has accepted an invitation to a face-to-face hui in Rotorua next month to discuss the proposals, the importance and urgency of the issues we have raised require a separate and specific hui.

Te Taumata will host this hui on 13 May and Minister Nash has already confirmed he will attend. In addition to the request to Minister Shaw, we have also extended the invitation to the Prime Minister and Attorney-General.

Te Taumata’s letter to Minister Shaw requests that he provide a substantive response to our concerns ahead of next week’s hui and confirm that no decisions regarding the exotic forests proposals will be made until after these hui and a greater level of engagement has taken place.