18 Nov 2009

Greens support permanent planting on DoC land

9:41 am on 18 November 2009

The Green Party does not object to Maori foresters planting native trees on marginal conservation land, provided the trees will not be cut down.

The proposal is part of a deal the Government is negotiating with the Maori Party in exchange for its support for the revised Emissions Trading Scheme.

The deal would allow Maori foresters to plant trees on conservation land that is deemed marginal, and to claim the carbon credits.

The proposal has been criticised by the Labour Party as being based on race, an accusation the National-led Government has rejected.

Green Party climate change spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons says under certain conditions her party would not object to trees being planted within the conservation estate.

"If this means a joint venture where Maori plant permanent native forest on DoC land and in return for their work they get the carbon credits, I think that's a really good partnership between the Crown and iwi.

"If it were to be forests for harvesting then it's completely unsuitable to do that on DoC land which is meant to be land for conservation.

"But there is other crown land which is not Department of Conservation land where you could look at Maori planting forest for harvest in partnership with the Crown.