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Iwi Get To Go To Copenhagen

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Nick Smith
Nick Smith

Wellington, Nov 23 NZPA - Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says he is making no apologies for using taxpayers' money to send two Iwi Leadership Group members to the upcoming climate change talks in Copenhagen.

National negotiated with the group over forestry policy as part of today's deal to pass an emissions trading scheme (ETS) with the support of the Maori Party.

Those iwi with pre-1990 forests wanted the right to clear their forests and plant elsewhere to avoid penalties under the ETS and Kyoto Protocol agreement.

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said this was not allowed under current international agreements.

Instead he gave those iwi with treaty settlements the right to plant trees on crown land and keep the carbon credits.

This will not help iwi or any other foresters with pre-1990 forests, but Dr Smith said New Zealand hoped to negotiate a change to international climate change rules.

As part of today's deal the Iwi Leadership Group nominated Roger Pikia and Chris Karamea Insley to go to Copenhagen as part of New Zealand's official delegation.

Dr Smith said he made "no apology" for the decision, saying the two men had relevant experience and as indigenous people would be able to strongly put the case to developing nations about the need to change the forestry rules.

Cabinet had yet to finalise who else would be travelling to the negotiations as part of the official delegation.

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