By capitulating to Māori Capitalism, James Shaw proves why he should be rolled


Oh. My. God.

Could James Shaw’s luck get any worse than this?

Government douses its proposal to limit exotic forests

A Government proposal to limit permanent exotic forests has been left to rot, according to a letter from the Climate Change Minister.

Earlier this year, the Government proposed that exotic trees in permanent forests would not be eligible to earn and sell carbon units.

Rural communities and the Climate Change Commission are key opponents of exotic planting. But because planting pine could be hugely profitable, foresters and landowners – including Māori leaders – vehemently opposed the suggestion.

A letter from Climate Change Minister James Shaw indicates the latter group has been, at least partially, successful. From next year, owners of permanent exotic forest are likely to be able to sell the carbon absorbed by their trees under the Emissions Trading Scheme (or ETS).

Right when his leadership and incrementalism is being challenged, here he is capitulating to Māori Capitalism to allow them off the hook by growing a weed like pine everywhere hilariously damaging the very environment those very same Māori interests claim such a spiritual connection to.

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We should have bought these interests out and forced through the changes because you can’t allow Pine to spread all over the country like a virus in an attempt to find a solution to the climate crisis.

I’m all for growing trees, I totally support any process where Trees are being planted, but there has to be a lions share mix of domestic tress in that planting because Pine causes vast problems.

For a Political Party that is now little more than a vehicle for middle class identity politics, celebrating Māori identity trumps Gaia because ultimately the Greens see Capitalism that factors in the price of pollution as the market solution.

By capitulating to Māori Capitalism, James Shaw proves why he should be rolled .


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  1. dwell done in daring to point out the double talk of Maori. If a scheme is driven by pakeha itvis bad but if driven by Maori it is ok .Just our side Chch a forest next to a river owned by Maori was pulled out and a dirty dairy farm was put in its place

    • Trevor. I agree, many do. That’s terrible about the uprooted Canterbury forest. Any chance of naming it please ? It’s an area which I once knew well, and am trying to picture.

      • Eyrewell Forest is being converted to dairy and Balmoral,to beef farming . They wanted to convert Balmoral to dairy but failed to get water concent from ECAN.
        Like society in general the actions do not fit with the message .

        • Trevor. Thanks for replying. I’m surprised they’re inflicting more dairying on Canterbury, and stunned at the forest vandalism ; not 100% sure where Balmoral is – or was; may check it out.

        • Trevor, Thank God Ngai Tahu can’t get near the black forests of Germany, the primeval forgets of Poland, or lovely Balmoral itself – money grubbing hypocrites who pontificate about spiritual connections to the land with, it seems to me, callous disregard for the future of everything.

  2. The most amusing thing about this is watching the conflicting interests play out. There is no doubt that if your sole interest was carbon sequestration NOW! then banning exotic fast-growing forests would be the worst move, there is no other activity that will sequester carbon like these trees. The proposed alternative of native forests would be far better as a long term solution if you think purely in ecological terms, but a terrible idea for carbon sequestration. Also native forests would cost at least 10X as much to establish, and are far more susceptible to damage from the huge increase in feral deer, goats, pigs and wallabies that provincial NZ is experiencing now the semi auto pest control rifles are gone. This first conflict of interest is between immediate CC mitigation versus long term strategic thinking for what the NZ ecology should look like. It appears the fast growing fire-creating pine forests will win.

    The second conflict of interest is between farming and forestry. Farming knows that it’s days are numbered as the ETS settings give a return on carbon forest investment of anywhere up to 20X the returns from meat production. Plus, farming is undergoing increased cost and regulation that is predicted to put 30% of sheep and beef farmers out of business in the short term, and getting worse from there. Farming is crying out because this Govt has the settings in such a way that farming has no future. Commercial forestry by contrast is looking at the most amazing increase in profitability they have ever seen, and the ETS settings means they can buy farmland at 10X the price any farmer could make an income off and still make a huge return. Forestry is happy, farming is not. I get a laugh out of the forestry guys talking up the climate change aspect of their business, while not mentioning that the ETS means they will all be rolling in more money that anyone knows what to do with.

    The Maori capitalism is not as bad as it sounds. Much of the land with proposed pine forests is inaccessible and low producing for farming. Covering it in pine is a bad ecological solution, but a great short term financial solution. Long term it is a disaster because once the forest matures the land receives no more carbon income ever and the land needs to stay in forest (or pay back all the carbon value). If these Maori-owned land titles utilise the carbon return to invest into something of longterm benefit it would work financially, but not ecologically. As these forest tend to be in marginal, inaccessible places the trees will likely never be harvested, and the land will be a mess.

    To my mind the major conflict of interest in the ETS forestry is the fact unmanaged exotic tree carbon plantations will inevitably create a huge mess of decaying wood that one day will catch fire, and I would imagine the carbon emissions of a dry-weather firestorm that starts at Castlepoint and stops at East Cape (having destroyed Masterton, Waipukurau, Hastings/Napier, Wairoa and Gisborne on the way past) will well and truly offset any climate advantage the forests provided. There will be a vast amount of wealth transferred from the consumer to the forest owner though, which is probably the real intention.

    Basically the ETS forestry is a bad joke, and a stupid market-led way to approach the problem, and one which transfers huge wealth from the majority of the population into the hands of a few carbon foresters. Anyone who actually genuinely believed that climate change will make the world hotter and drier would instantly rebel at the idea of planting the entire country with highly flammable exotic forests. Everyone can see what drought and high temperatures does to forests in the USA and Australia, why try to recreate these firestorm events here? The only possible conclusion is the Govt are either pathologically stupid or actively disbelieves in climate change, which makes me wonder what the real purpose is.

    • Great post Ben. Though I doubt the rise in ungulate numbers is solely due to the loss of semi-automatics. I think covid control measures might have had something to do with it too.

      • Semi auto ban is not the sole reason, but it has had a lot to do with it. Unfortunately exactly the same characteristics that make them ideal for terrorists are also the same ones that make them perfect for pest control in NZ bush; the ability to knock down multiple targets at close range in a short time window. So people who previously shot 5-7 goats or wallabies etc at a time and controlled the numbers are now only shooting 1 or at best 2, not only leaving a larger breeding population but also leaving a gun-shy population. There are commercial pest control operators still legally using AR15s etc who are finding far more feral pests, but also finding they are far harder to control due to the guys with the bolt action rifles doing inadequate control and leaving gun-shy animals behind. It’s the NZ ecology that suffers.

          • Yes land managers can still get semi autos with the appropriate vetting and proof of requirement. The problem is the general shooting community who previously controlled all the pests before they got to our farms are no longer able to do it successfully. Letting land managers have pest control rifles is better than nothing, but it would be a lot better still if the pests were controlled right across the country and in DOC land in particular, not just on the few properties where significant economic damage is occurring. I am actively encouraging all farmers, foresters etc to apply and get the endorsement for the good of everyone.

  3. Maori didn’t bring pine here but the issue is about our government telling Maori what to do with their own land. And given Maori have very little prime land due to theft and confiscation from our governments I suggest Pakeha butt out of this one and MYOB.

    • You rattle on about governmnets, then say Pakeha should but out.
      So only pakeha MPS should but out while MPs with maori decent should decide.

      Remind me what you are smoking

      • Maori don’t view land the same as pakeha. We’ve never believed in borders. Land isn’t disconnected just because there’s oceans on top. We are one people.

      • Rob’s Mob “Don’t forget…land Maori sold”, and stole from each other, and slaughtered each other for, and sold without mandate for, in the idyllic past.

    • Covid Even when the tribes could do what they liked with their own land they still barbecued and ate other tribes’ babies and Pakeha got that stopped and that was nice.

  4. “damaging the very environment those very same Māori interests claim such a spiritual connection to.”

    Heresy! Surely you’re not challenging the Cult of Maaori Wonderfulness?

    “By capitulating to Māori Capitalism, James Shaw proves why he should be rolled”

    Of course Chloe would never have capitulated to Maaori capitalism, right?? As Trotter pointed out recently, white liberals invariably cave at the first sign of criticism from Maaori activists (or from “POC” activists in general), because they’re desperate to prove their anti-racist credentials.

  5. The text appears to say exotic, not pine.
    Not all exotics are weeds, nor undesirable. If the problem is vast mono culture plantations of certain varieties of pine and conifer, then any legislation would better served by being specific to species and open to modification if required.

  6. Greens have always had a problem with Maori and their culture which has not moved forward with time at the same pace as Western society. The treatment t of women as inferior not being able to speak and sitting at the back of the group is an example of the quandary they face . It is up to Maori when and what they change but at some time they will have to decide when they will join the 21st century

  7. Greens have always had a problem with Maori and their culture which has not moved forward with time at the same pace as Western society. The treatment t of women as inferior not being able to speak and sitting at the back of the group is an example of the quandary they face . It is up to Maori when and what they change but at some time they will have to decide when they will join the 21st century

  8. I think Maori capitalism is the least of the issues with the ETS. Investors are buying carbon units simply as an investment, meaning emitters providing a service need to compete with investors, and passing the cost on to consumers. I know an investor who has invested in enough carbon units that just the price rise yesterday has increased the value of his units by over $250,000! Not bad for one days work, without actually doing anything productive…. and who is paying for this surge in carbon value? You guessed it, the consumer, renter, worker, mortgage holder, and basically anyone who needs to buy food or goods/services in NZ.

    Farming cannot survive in the face of the hugely more profitable carbon farming, which often returns 20X the profit per hectare as sheep and beef farms. Yes it is only for a few decades, but carbon farmers can take their profits then leave for more enlightened countries whenever they want to. Leaving behind land with huge carbon liabilities that are essentially locked into forestry forever.

    I know a lot of people on this blog are anti-farming, but I hope you realise what this means. NZ climate change settings will get rid of farming by making it too expensive to produce food, at the same time all our land will convert to forestry with the far higher carbon returns. The essential difference is our farm products were mostly exported to return income into the economy, ETS carbon farms convert wealth from the citizen into the hands of the carbon forester. There will be no money coming into the country anymore from meat or dairy, instead the forestry landowners will be becoming increasingly rich at the expense of everyone else in the country. How long can this last until it all falls over? Even some of our most ardently anti-farming commentators may well end up looking back at the time we had an export agricultural system as the good old days.

    • You make some good points in regards to the current ets @ Ben Waimata ( must say the Waimata Valley is a nice part of NZ/AO) and from what you and others rightly say about growing un managed plantation forests that will eventually turn into a giant bonfire one day, just so corporates can say how sustainable and wonderful they are.
      Maybe the solution could be, especially for a lot of our hill country farms, would be, to be able to claim carbon credits on un grazed pasture/grass land (fallowing?) I’e cut stocking rates 15-20%.
      Would be somewhat of a solution to cutting our country’s green house

  9. Owners of pine plantations need to be made responsible for wilding pines originating from their trees; we need to build in the total costs of land exploitation and stop letting corporations leave taxpayers to clean-up the consequences.

  10. Understand that who ever (Chloe) will be given a hospital pass. Who ever will be relatively inexperienced, leading a relatively inexperienced raabel at a time when we need a new Green leader to turn the ship around.

    Let’s look wider. Greens have one electoral seat and it’s far from safe. The greens don’t have a record of retaining electrical seats. Arguably Chloe won her electorate seat on the hype of marijuana reform so are the Greens winning that part of the campaign.

    What else do they need to win to turn it all around?

    It’s a big step up going from the local media circuit to the national circuit let alone walking the international stage with your head held high and it’s all about creating momentum from the ground up and top down.

    Don’t fuck around.


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