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

 


Federated Farmers Deal Opens Way For GMOs In Hauraki Gulf

Deal With Federated Farmers Opens Way For GMOs In Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

An agreement has been struck between Auckland Council and Federated Farmers to remove a statement prohibiting GMOs in the Hauraki Gulf Islands despite strong public opposition.

Counsel for Federated Farmers and Auckland Council lodged papers with the Environment Court on Monday asking for sign-off on the draft consent order.(1)

This is after last Friday's meeting of the Auckland Council's Hearings committee which decided to follow the direction set by Council officers. This has seen the systematic removal of policy statements for precaution on GMO's that once existed in legacy Council Plans.

Instead of the District Plan prohibiting GMO release the agreement opens the way for GMOs under general approval of the EPA for release of any new organism.

The deal creates an illusion of protection but plays into the hands of industry lobbyists including Federated Farmer's vice-president Dr William Rolleston who is a lead advocate for GMO's and sits on the government's science boards. Forestry group Scion are also opposing the precautionary statements in plans for the Bay of Plenty.(2)

This is part of a concerted campaign by industry to roll back environmental protection and the new Auckland Council are being complicit by removing precautionary policies developed by legacy councils.

The removal of prohibition of GMOs in the Hauraki Gulf is in direct opposition to the recommendations of the inter-council working party (ICWP) on GMOs of which Auckland Council is a member. The ICWP identified a plan change prohibiting release of GMOs as the most effective protection for the region.(3)

"This is a Clayton's protection that gives no long term safeguard for the integrity of the Hauraki Gulf from GMOs," says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for The Auckland GE-Free coalition.

The public has previously been reassured by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and senior officers that no decision to delete the prohibition on GMOs had been made by the new Auckland Council.

"Now the decision has been made, and the outcome is a betrayal. By following the direction of officers the Hearings committee has worked counter to the community interest."

The move by Auckland Council ignores widespread community opposition and independent scientific advice for precaution on GMOs, as well as policy advice warning that the EPA cannot adequately protect local and regional community interests from damage from GMOs.

Community concern amongst residents of Waiheke and Great Barrier Island has been sidelined. They will be denied a say in the Unitary Plan consultation because it does not cover the Hauraki Gulf Islands.

Local Boards across Auckland have raised the alarm about at the direction being set by the governing body but so far to no avail.

Despite the alarming loss of democracy that is emerging, the draft Unitary Plan consultation is another chance for public to demand protection for the region and for future generations.

References:
1) Federated Farmers appeal : ENV-2009-AKL-000323 - Memorandum of Counsel, Monday 25 February 2013

2) http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20110704.htm
http://climate-connections.org/2012/09/16/ge-trees-crown-research-institute-speaks-with-forked-tongue-in-opposing-gmo-accountability/

3) http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/committees/environmentsustainabilityforum/meetings/envandsustforumminattitm1220130219.pdf


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

2040 Target And Lower Standards: “Swimmable” Rivers Five Times More Likely To Make You Sick

Forest & Bird has condemned the government’s new water quality standards, warning New Zealanders that they lock in current levels of water pollution and allow for a 5-fold increase in the chance of getting sick from swimming in a river.

“Despite an explicit assurance from Minister Smith that the new water standards would provide for human and ecosystem health, he has failed to deliver on either of these things,” says Forest & Bird CEO Kevin Hague. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Immigration: Clampdown On Rogue Employers Good First Step

The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. More>>

ALSO:

Mayor: 750 New Social And Affordable Homes For Wellington (Over A Decade)

The next stage of Wellington’s Housing Upgrade Programme will see at least 750 new units of social and affordable housing built over the next decade, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

22/2: Christchurch Quake Memorial Unveiled

A city, a region, a nation and an international community impacted by the Canterbury Earthquakes will come together to mark the sixth anniversary of the deadly quake and dedicate Oi Manawa Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial. More>>

ALSO:


November Quakes:

Gordon Campbell: On The Mana-Maori Party Deal

If the self-interest involved wasn’t so blatant, the electorate deal between the Maori Party and Hone Harawira would be kind of poignant. It’s a bit like seeing the remaining members of Guns’n’Roses or the Eagles back on the road touring the nostalgia circuit… playing all the old hits of Maori unity and kaupapa Maori politics. More>>

ALSO:

Private Provision: First Social Bond To Focus On Mental Health

New Zealand’s first social bond will help around 1700 people with mental illness into work, Finance Minister Steven Joyce and Social Investment Minister Amy Adams say. More>>

ALSO:

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:


Megaupload Case: High Court Rules Dotcom, Co-Accused Eligible For Extradion

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and his three co-accused are eligible for extradition to the United States, New Zealand's High Court ruled... Justice Murray Gilbert upheld a decision by the District Court that there were grounds for Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato to be extradited. More>>

ALSO:

PREVIOUSLY:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news