The Government recently outlined plans for an emissions trading scheme and for new forestry and environmentally friendly land management initiatives. The emissions trading scheme is aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote environmentally friendly behaviour and create business opportunities for New Zealanders.

The Government plan to fight climate change includes:

  • An emissions trading scheme to put a price on greenhouse gas pollution;
  • Measures to encourage forestry and more sustainable land use;
  • Increasing renewable electricity generation to 90% of New Zealand’s total by 2025;
  • Improving fuel and energy efficiency in buildings, homes and business;
  • Making the public sector carbon neutral; and
  • Reducing emissions from the transport sector by half by 2040, and encouraging the introduction of electric vehicles.

The release of the next steps in the Government plan to fight climate change could have significant benefits to Maori – particularly iwi with significant interests in forestry.  However, Maori should also be aware that the Government proposes to penalise owners of exotic forests planted before 1990 who choose not to replant their trees following harvest.  It is possible that papakainga land will be exempted from these penalties following consultation with Maori.

Stakeholders and Maori will have opportunities to comment on the scheme at a series of regional meetings and hui before final decisions are made in early November 2007.  Details of these hui will be advertised on government websites, including and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry website,