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Thousands pour into Oamaru for 4th NZ Organic Fest

Thousands pour into Oamaru for 4th NZ Organic Festival

Thousands of people poured into Oamaru today for the fourth annual New Zealand Organic Food and Wine Festival.

The event showed off some of the nation’s finest organic wine and food producers.

Special tribute was paid two Sir Peter Elworthy and local organiser Peter Tangney, a fisherman who drowned earlier this year, at the festival opening.

The Natural Heritage Society chairman Bill Blair said both men were great supporters of the organics ethos.

Sir Peter, who died suddenly in January, was chairman of the NZ Sustainability Council. Tangney, a local fisherman who went missing, presumed drowned off the North Otago Coast, in January, was a major organiser of the event.

The festival is growing bigger every year as interest in organic and environmentally-safe food ``takes hold in New Zealand’’, festival organiser Jay McMillan said today.

Speeches supporting 100 percent pure food and wine were given by experts and noted people including former Crop and Research scientist Elvira Dommisse and Green Party MP Sue Kedgley.

Ms Dommisse said she was worried about the willingness of the government to approve the release of GE crops when the country had a ``lot to lose and little to gain’’.

Concerns relating to a possible go-ahead of Project Aqua on the Waitaki River were also aired at the festival.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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