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Updated at 9:00 pm on 23 November 2009
The Government has confirmed it has the support of the Maori Party for its reworking of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
The deal gives the Government the numbers to pass legislation on the scheme through all its remaining stages under urgency this week.
The agreement reached between the National Party and the Maori Party will extend the Warm Up home insulation scheme to 8,000 more homes and allow Ngai Tahu and four other iwi to plant forests on up to 35,000ha of Crown land and claim the carbon credits.
In return, the iwi agree in principle not to take any legal action on the grounds that their Treaty of Waitangi settlements have been undermined by the cost of the ETS.
Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says the iwi will still not make any money out of the deal. It will offset a deforestation liability of between $70 million and $120 million, he says, but will not cancel it out - though it will abate, perhaps over two generations.
Prime Minister John Key says it's an elegant solution that avoids the cost of litigation, and Climate Change Minister Nick Smith says it settles a long-standing dispute.
Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says it's a good agreement. Planting large-scale, permanent forests will benefit everyone environmentally, he says, and the deal will halve the scheme's cost to households as well.
Other iwi will also be able to do deals on conservation land but will have to share the carbon credits with the Government. The same opportunity will be available to non-Maori businesses.
The Government is keen to pass the amended scheme into law before the United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December.
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