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Sir Paul Reeves joins biotech advice group

Monday, 18 December 2000 Media Statement

Sir Paul Reeves joins biotech advice group

Former Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves has been appointed to the Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council (IBAC), Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson said today.

IBAC was set up in 1998 to help New Zealanders explore and consider issues arising from advances in biotechnology.

Mr Hodgson said Sir Paul Reeves would contribute considerable wisdom and experience to the debate.

Sir Paul was Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand before he became Governor-General from 1985-1990. In 1997 he chaired the Fijian Constitution Review Commission. He is currently a professor at the Auckland Institute of Technology.

Mrs Anne Dickinson, who has been acting chair of IBAC, has been appointed as chair. Mrs Dickinson is the National Director of Caritas, the Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development.

In the upcoming year IBAC plans to focus its work on human biotechnology and the ethical and social issues it raises. It is still developing its plans, but expects to look at issues arising from the human genome project and medical research using stem cells.

"Such research is at the cutting edge of science and challenges the values and ethics of society," Mr Hodgson said. "IBAC will help develop informed discussion about the opportunities created by the technology and the ethical and cultural issues that are inseparable from its use."

ENDS

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