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Praise for Kaipara District Council GE Workshop

GE FREE NORTHLAND

PRESS RELEASE 20 June 2006

Praise for Kaipara District Council GE Workshop

GE FREE NORTHLAND spokesperson Zelka Grammer said today she applauded the commitment of local government to address the critical GE issue.

Yesterday, Kaipara District Council held a GE workshop that was well attended by Northland peninsula councils and Kaipara ratepayers.

The councils persistence in exploring how to protect communities in the Northland area is laudible, and stands in stark contrast to the approach taken by the Labour-led government, which continues to ignore the concerns of many eminent scientists, Local Government NZ, local authorities, primary producers and the majority of New Zealanders.

Councils concerns about GE relate mainly to uncertainties over the economic risks to conventional and organic food producers, the uncertainties over who should bear liability relating to these risks, and the risks to our biosecurity and primary producers.

Information presented on the day clearly showed that using the RMA, local authorities can put in place rules regarding GMO land use, which would complement central government requirements under the HSNO Act.

GE FREE NORTHLAND urges Kaipara District Council to vote at its next full council meeting to budget $l0,000 for community consultation on GE (as all other Northland peninsula territorial authorities have already done).

"In our view, REGIONAL EXCLUSION ZONE status (for GE) for Northland is highly desirable," said Ms. Grammer.

Northland is ideally placed geographically to achieve this distinction, which would minimise the economic, environmental, public health and liability exposures from GE release.

GE FREE NORTHLAND encourages the public to work constructively with local authorities to ensure that GMO land use is classed a prohibited activity in the region.

ENDS


Background details:

KAIPARA DISTRICT COUNCIL GE WORKSHOP Took place: Monday l9th June 06 Venue: Kaiwaka Hall Time: l0:30- 3:30pm

As with all Council workshops this meeting was open for the public to attend.

Presenters:

Simon Terry from Simon Terry Associates (co-author of the GE report "Community Management of GMOs II- Risks & Response Options", recently commissioned by all the Northland peninsula territorial authorities).

Dr. Royden Somerville, QC (the top RMA QC in the country) author of the accompanying legal opinion (to the GE report "Community Management of GMOs II- Risks & Response Options")

Two speakers from central government agencies: Russell Harding from the Ministry for the Environment Libby Harrison from ERMA (Environmental Risk Management Authority).


Independent GE report ("Community Management of GMOs II- Risks & Response Options" by Simon Terry Associates & Mitchell Partnerships) and legal opinion by Dr. Royden Somerville, QC 2006 as recently commissioned by all the Northland peninsula territorial authorities (Waitakere City Council, Rodney, Whangarei, Kaipara and Far North District Councils)

See http://www.wdc.govt.nz/portal/ge2005.html

ENDS

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