Saturday, 21 November 2009

BROWNMAIL - A FISCALLY F**KED ENVELOPE


For some reason we couldn't sleep last night and instead of counting sheep - we resorted to counting trees.

Now we said that there was no way we were going to blog about Ngai Tahu and associated iwi sneaking around in back rooms trying to work out a deal with the government for support for the ETS.

But this issue is too big.

Once New Zealand mums and dads people cotton to the basic premise - hand outs for noisy Maori - there will be a public outcry.

We have in the past suggested that Ngai Tahu needs to get out of grievance mode and get on with doing good works and making money with what they have.
In other words they have had their settlement, its up to them now to show their beneficiaries and indeed the rest of New Zealand that they can add value to their assets.

National is in thrall of the global green chalice. An ETS scheme...

So Ngai Tahu, who has a bevy of lawyers, who after a decade know how to press government buttons - raises the spectre of legal action.

National folds and tries to work out a deal that will placate them and buy their support. So they chuck them a bone in the shape of unused Doc land where they can plant a few beech trees and claim the carbon credits.. Which is fine, plant trees , sell the credits, bank the money, live off the interest..

Looks good. Apart from the fact that there is no way that the trees can be cut down without incurring a liability. They have to buy back the credits. so a contingent liability exists and according to Smith in Fran O'sullivans excellent column on the issue, iwi will own that liability.
So its a crap deal.

Based on a weak kneed government that wants to sip from the Green Cup so its willing to sell its soul.

And an iwi that rather than concentrating on becoming a business with dividends for beneficiaries goes back again to the biggest trough of all - free government money.

Its a deal not available to other foresters, so it is race based. As Fran so rightly puts it - its brownmail. We reckon that term will become part of the NZ lexicon.

We are ashamed of our iwi for being so venal. If they had joined the pre 1990 forest lobbyists and fought to keep those forests out of the ETS, there would not have been an issue and that deal would have benefited all Maori, not just a few iwi, who are being manipulated by their lawyers for a very short term gain.

2 comments:

bez said...

And the most shocking thing of course is that the whole subject is based on a scam that has now been thoroughly exposed.
Without the global warming bulshit there wouldn't be ETS and without ETS there wouldn't be these deals.
The whole thing becomes more Alice in Wonderland with every additional step.

Lucy said...

Iwi are victims again BB? Manipulated by lawyers? _ Yeah right.