Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Councils Left Exposed to Financial Risks of GMOs

Councils Left Exposed to Financial Risks of GMOs

Local communities have been left exposed to the financial risks of GM organisms by a select committee of parliament.

The report of the Education and Science select committee, released today, does not recommend any changes to the proposed legislation so as to remove the risk of Councils being liable.

Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey says, therefore, that the full Parliament must provide mechanisms for a council to exercise control over whether a GM organism should be released in its area, when this is the clear desire of local authorities such as his.

In 2001 Waitakere- the Eco City- declared itself opposed to genetic engineering food trials within its boundaries. Other Councils, such as Nelson and Rodney have also expressed concerns.

Mayor Harvey says unless Parliament takes heed of Council views, local bodies are at risk of having to pay for damage to the environment caused by something they have no control over. “It also denies local councils- and the businesses they work with- the right to market and brand themselves a refuge from GM releases.”

“In a world context that is a very powerful brand to have,” says Mayor Harvey who, prior to becoming Mayor, was one of the country’s top advertising and marketing executives. Locally, his concern centres on a rapidly expanding cluster of organics food producers.

Parliament’s Education and Science Select Committee today recommended changes to legislation that clears the way for GM release – the NOOM Bill.

However the select committee has not recommended any meaningful changes that would address the problems local government raised in its submissions, says Mayor Harvey.

“So, unless the full Parliament amends the proposed legislation it is ratepayers who risk having to pay for any damage caused by the accidental release of GM organisms. Ratepayers will be exposed financially if Councils have to clean up any mess.”

Local Government New Zealand made it clear in its submission that: “Local government liability must be excluded if local authorities have no consenting role under HSNO or RMA for the release of new organisms.”

The liability arises because local government is responsible under the Resource Management Act for protection of the environment. The laws governing GM will not require those growing GM crops to pay for damages so long as they have an ERMA approval.

“Unfortunately, local communities will be left to pick up the tab unless local Councils can find a way to make those who release GMO pay. This is an unfair burden on local communities.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Scoop 3.0: How You Can Help Scoop’s Evolution

Entering into its third decade of operation, the Scoop news ecosystem is set to undergo another phase of transformation and evolution.

We have big plans for 2018 as we look to expand our public interest journalism coverage, upgrade our publishing infrastructure and offer even more valuable business tools to commercial users of Scoop. More>>

 
 

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

United Future History: "All Good Things Must End"

'We’re extremely proud of what we’ve achieved over the past 15 years, working alongside the government of the day, both National and Labour.' Mr Light told members on Monday. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Outcome, And The Hobbit Law

Somehow the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal has come lurching back from the dead – and as predicted in this column last week, the member countries gathered in Vietnam have announced a deal in broad principle, shunted aside until a later date the stuff on which they don’t agree, and declared victory. More>>

Agreeing To Differ: Greens Maintain Opposition To TPPA
“The Green Party has long opposed the TPPA. The new proposed deal, which came out of the weekend’s talks, still contains key ISDS concessions to corporations that put our democracy at risk, so our position remains the same,” said Green Party trade spokesperson Golriz Ghahraman. More>>

ALSO:

Monitoring Report: A New Chapter For Children’s Rights In New Zealand?

The Children’s Commissioner is calling on the country to embrace children’s rights to ensure their overall well-being. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election