The coalition kōrero and dialogue is over and Aotearoa New Zealand’s new Government can finally kick into the urgent action we need to see.
We welcome the coalition agreements that have been released today – and the news that the new Government will get underway immediately once sworn in .
Through these agreements, we are particularly pleased to see the commitment to removing red tape from the resource consent process through the establishment of a new regulation agency.
This will be critical as Te Arawa Fisheries, our Waiariki Smart Aquaculture roopu and other iwi from around the motu seek to develop higher value aquaculture operations.
We are also pleased to see a halt to the current review of the ETS – a review which had the potential to remove literally millions of dollars from the balance sheets of iwi across Aotearoa. We agree with the new Government’s view that this halt was required in order to “restore confidence and certainty to the carbon trading market”.
The appointment of our local Rotorua MP, Todd McClay, as Minister of Forestry is particularly relevant in this space given the amount of Māori investment in forestry – and as a result, the ETS.
Ultimately, across the Cabinet table, we believe that the people making up our new Government provide the right balance of knowledge, maturity and experience, as well as fresh thinking.
On the homefront, the appointment of Shane Jones as Minister for Oceans and Fisheries, as well as Regional Development, means he can hit the ground running, having previously served in these portfolios.
He knows aquaculture, iwi and the regions, and as we had indicated immediately after the election, this combined experience can only add value to our fishery and Māori business operations.
Looking further offshore, the combination of Winston Peters as Minister for Foreign Affairs, alongside Todd McClay as Minister for Trade, means we should achieve the best possible trade outcomes on the global stage.
As an iwi-owned organisation with strong interests offshore, we need Aotearoa New Zealand to have a united presence on the global stage, showing the world we are stable, confident, ready and moving.
Their collective experience – and a proven working relationship – is incredibly important if Māori are to realise the opportunities available from New Zealand’s new Free Trade Agreements with the European Union and the United Kingdom.
We are pleased to see that the talking is now done and we can all kick into a new gear. While there may only be weeks until the end of year, there is still much that can be done to get us ahead of the game for 2024. We welcome that urgency and we look forward to welcoming our various Ministers to our rohe to see firsthand the progress that has been made, and the opportunities that are available to us.