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Hawaii’s Innovations Development Group Tapped for Major New Zealand Geothermal Project

 “Native to Native” model can help Hawaii too

Media Release:

Hawaii-based Innovations Development Group [IDG] is pleased to announce that it has been approved as a “foreign” corporation by the New Zealand Government’s Overseas Investment Office and is poised to commence a joint venture partnership with the Eastland Group and a native Maori land Trust of New Zealand. IDG was awarded the exclusive rights to develop the Maori land Trust’s geothermal resources in January 2008 and engaged Eastland Group of Gisborne, NZ, in August 2010 as the technical and financial partner.

Negotiating N2N Model in New Zealand

Negotiating N2N Model in New Zealand

The transaction was structured around IDG’s proprietary Native-to-Native (N2N) community-based development model. The first phase of the project’s proposed 50 MW plus project is intended to begin construction soon.

Patricia Brandt

Patricia Brandt (CEO)

“It’s taken time and trust to get to where we are: ready to begin geothermal development in New Zealand . The very name of the project, Te ahi o Maui , calls to mind the mythology and close cultural ties that connect us as a Polynesian people. Maori Trust leaders will only accept developments on Trust land that are ecologically, economically and culturally sustainable,” says IDG CEO Patricia Brandt.  “They believe our involvement helps ensure this.”

Community Perspective Replaces Past Opposition

Though opposed to Hawaii geothermal projects in the past because of the absence of efforts to address community needs and rights, IDG executives say that today, less intrusive technologies, clean technology, culturally sensitive protocols based on judicially established rights,  and a genuine community-oriented perspective make geothermal a viable energy alternative. They believe that Hawaii can learn from the New Zealand project.

Mililani Trask (Indigenous and Community Advisor)

Mililani Trask (Indigenous and Community Advisor)

“Native Hawaiians, like the Maori and many other indigenous people around the world are resource-rich but concerned about exploitation,” says IDG Indigenous and Community Advisor Mililani Trask.  “IDG brings access to capital and technical expertise in a highly specialized field to guarantee that development on native peoples’ lands benefits the native, local community and our larger society.”

Native-to-Native Model Delivers Fair Return to All

According to IDG’s Senior Advisor Robbie Le’a Kapi’olani Cabral, the company has become internationally recognized for its Native-to-Native business model of sustainable development.

Robbie Le’a Kapi’olani Cabral (Senior Advisor)

Robbie Le’a Kapi’olani Cabral (Senior Advisor)

The complex joint venture agreements IDG negotiated on behalf of the Kawerau Trust ensure significant returns to all stakeholders.  The project will deliver economic growth and job creation while respecting the cultural values of the Maori people.  Project investors can count on fair profits and New Zealand will enjoy enhanced renewable energy production to meet its growing need for electricity.

“We put into place a structure that ensures the training, employment and substantive participation of the Maori people in the development of resources which are theirs through the status of the land as a taonga (treasured asset). Every beneficiary of this development has whakapapa or genealogical ties to the land,” said Cabral.  “We structured the deal to protect those rights while delivering a generous return to investors and long term energy diversification for the country, ” she added.

This concept has now been used with other Maori land trusts and incorporations working with IDG in the energy sector of New Zealand .

Ideal for Hawaii too

“The N2N model forms the basis in dealing with native stakeholders while embracing the larger society as a community-based development which is ideal for Hawaii ,” adds Brandt. “Using it, we can build a more sustainable energy future for Hawaii in a way that protects our land [aina] and cultural traditions, compensates the community fairly and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It’s an approach that benefits the state and provides income and jobs at a time when both are desperately needed,” said  Brandt. “We hope the state will partner with us and embrace a model for geothermal development whose time is now.”

IDG Team with former President Oscar Temaru of the Government of French Polynesia in Tahiti

IDG Team with former President Oscar Temaru of the Government of French Polynesia in Tahiti

About Innovations Development Corporation, Hawaii

Innovations Development Group (IDG) is a Hawaii-based strategic planning and development company specializing in developing Indigenous land and resource assets focusing on renewable energy.

For more information: http://innovationsdevelopmentgroup.com

The Hawaiian Perspectives on Geothermal Energy Discussion Was Today

The Pahoa Community Center was filled today with some of the more well known names in the Hawaiian Community this morning as a discussion on “Hawaiian Perspectives on Geothermal Energy” took place.

The who's who of Puna packed into the Pahoa Community Center this morning.

The Pule (Opening Prayer) was given by former 5th District Councilwoman Emily Naeole.

Kale Gumapac and Emily Naeole

The Sponsors of the event were:

  • Kealoha Estate – Kuulei Cooper
  • OHA Trustee – Bob Lindsey
  • Innovations Development Group – Robbie Cabral
  • Indigenous Consultant – Mililani B. Trask
  • Aha Kanaka Moku o Keawe – Kale Gumapac

Patricia Brandt introduces the sponsors of the event

Patricia Brandt opened the panel by asking the following: “…But our question is – What has happened in the twenty years since then… what has benefited this community…?

[youtube=youtube.com/watch?v=zG7ym9Lfa3M]

Considerations:

Geothermal resources belong to the native Hawaiian and the public.  Under State law, these resources are “minerals” and are an assets of the ceded land trust.  Private development of our trust resources has already pushed the cost up 487.5% (it cost 8 cents per kilowatt hour for geothermal electricity but HELCO/PGV costs incresase charges to 39 cents for the consumer)  How can our energy resources be developed in a community-based way that is culturally appropriate, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable and clean?

Senator Hanohano and Mililani Trask touch basis before the discussion begin

Among the speakers and panelist were:

  • Mililani B. Trask who’s message was stressed with “Lets not repeat past mistakes”.
  • Kumu Hula Cy Bridges – “How do we balance traditional practice with modern trust obligations and community energy needs”
  • Kuulei Cooper – “Why geothermal development can  should support community projects like the Puna Community Park, an effort that has been ongoing for 28 years.
  • OHA Trustee Bob Lindsey – Benefits (reventues) that come to Hawaiians & OHA from geothermal Royalties, protections for Wao Kele o Puna Forest.
  • Kale Gumapac – “Why Hawaiians should be informed in and involved in development of their trust asstes, the need for Hawaiian development options, what are “community benefits?”

Mililani B. Trask opened up the discussion with a bit of an introduction about who the folks involved in the project are:

[youtube=youtube.com/watch?v=IGevfQuU3eE]

I wish I could have stayed for the entire meeting but I had prior commitments.