16 Apr 2012

Planned ETS change would affect Maori forest owners

6:43 am on 16 April 2012

The Forest Owners Association says the Government's plan to alter the Emissions Trading Scheme has implications for Maori forest owners.

The Government has released a consultation document on changes it wants to make to the scheme following a review by an independent panel.

The association's chief executive David Rhodes says owners of exotic forests planted before 1990 will be able to fell them without penalty and put the land to another use.

But Mr Rhodes says the same area of forest has to be planted somewhere else.

He says Maori forest owners may find that disagreeable as land use flexibility is very important to them.

Mr Rhodes says there may be times when a farmer can find another piece of land which is suitable for planting with trees and that fits the owner's farming operation or cultural ties to the land, but he doubts it.