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Auckland's Violent Council Meeting

Media Statement ­ March14th, 2002

The National Council of the Soil & Health Association condemns the use of violence against community representatives and officials of responsible organisations seeking to ensure democratic consultation on matters of public safety and environmental health.

"Soil &Health does not recommend, support or resort to violence as a measure to achieves its objectives and condemns the use of violence by people, councils and agencies with biocidal tendencies who flagrantly disregard international obligations to ensure safe and healthy environs for individuals and communities", said the Association¹s National Vice-president Professor Haikai Tane from Twizel.

He was referring to the arrest of the Association¹s director Dr Meriel Watts at the Auckland City Council meeting last night. Dr Watts, as the City¹s Community representative on the Council¹s Weed Management Group, had sought permission to address the council on their intentions to re-introduce chemical herbicide spraying on roadsides in the City. Not only was permission denied but arrest followed when Dr Watts attempted to peacefully defuse the violent handling of other community representatives.

"The situation in Auckland is not an isolated exception. Throughout NZ, S&H members are reporting that poisons are being used increasingly in our waterways and food production areas without the consent, and often against the wishes of landholders" said Professor Tane. "There is a clear parallel between the violent handling of people and the violent handling of nature by seeking to control it through use of poisons".

Further information:

Professor Haikai Tane 03-4353228

Dr Meriel Watts 021-1577567

The SOIL & HEALTH Assn of NZ (Inc)
Publishers of ORGANIC NZ
PO Box 36-170, Northcote, Auckland, NZ
info@organicnz.pl.net Tel/fax: +64-9-419-4536

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