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.

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

2) http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20110704.htm

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


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On John Key’s Trip To Iraq

In the embedded press coverage on this trip, the absence so far of any evaluation of the wider context of what New Zealand thinks it is doing at Camp Taji has been striking. More>>


Labour: Parata Puts Brakes On Charter School Appraisal

“When the Ministry of Education recommended they compare the achievements of children at charter schools to those of their counterparts at state schools, the documents show Hekia Parata specifically prohibited them from doing so." More>>


Bad Day For Universities: Gun, Bomb Threats On Three Campuses

Dunedin Police are continuing their investigation into the threat made against the University of Otago. Staff are following a number of lines of inquiry, and police are working to verify the authenticity and source of the post. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The TPP Deal Reached In Atlanta

Yes, the TPP has helped to knock a few points off the tariffs facing our exporters. Yet some of those alleged dollar gains may well have been made regardless over time – and without the negative baggage of the concessions in the non-trade areas (intellectual property, copyright extensions, investor-state dispute mechanisms etc) that the TPP deal also brings in its wake. More>> (Cartoon by Dave Wolland)

Public Summaries:


Wellington.Scoop: Serco – First The Prisons, And Now It Wants To Run The Trains

As the government continues its inquiry into Serco’s discredited administration of Mt Eden prison in Auckland, here in Wellington there’s further scrutiny of the British outsourcing company – because it’s competing to take over the running of our commuter trains. More>>


Pre-Signing: Gordon Campbell On The TPP Countdown

To date, the Key government has been unwilling to share any information about this TPP deal until it is too late for outraged public opinion to affect the outcome... the disclosure process is likely to consist of a similarly skewed and careful exercise in spin. More>>


Australia Deportations: English Relaxed On Immigration Centre Conditions

Labour's Annette King: “There have been numerous reports from inside these detention centres on just how bad conditions are... If they were being held in any other foreign jail, I imagine Mr English would be somewhat concerned. More>>


Schools: Achievement-Based Funding Would Be A Disaster

The Education Minister’s speech to the PPTA Conference raising the spectre of achievement data driving a new funding system would be disastrous, says NZEI Te Riu Roa. More>>

  • Video Out-Link - PPTA Annual Conference 2015 on Livestream (Q+A dicussion suggests funding would be directed to less successful schools.)

  • ALSO:

    ECE Report:

    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news