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Royal Commission Praised For Comprehensive Report

30 July 2001 Media Statement

Royal Commission Praised For Comprehensive Gm Report


The Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, has welcomed the release of the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Genetic Modification.

"The way the commissioners went about their task and the style of their report is exactly what I hoped the commission would do," she said.

The commission presented its report to the Governor General last Friday and the report was released publicly by the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, today.

"When I announced the establishment of the Royal Commission in April last year, honouring a pledge in our election manifesto, I said the government wanted the inquiry to stimulate a broad-ranging discussion on genetic modification," Marian Hobbs said. "I wanted the commission to inquire into and report on the strategic options available to enable New Zealand to address genetic modification now and in the future.

"I also wanted the concerns of New Zealanders to be heard and evaluated. And I wanted advice as a result of hearings and research as to how we should act in this new environment.

"I am delighted that the commission has done exactly that.

"The commission has given us a comprehensive overview of genetic modification and the issues surrounding it. The process used by the commission to gather the views of New Zealanders, including public meetings, hui, a youth forum and a public opinion survey, has been extensive and thorough.

"The report is easy to read and I would encourage people to examine the issues canvassed. It will be a valuable tool in the continuing public debate on genetic modification.

"I must thank the four commissioners wholeheartedly for their tremendous effort."

Marian Hobbs said the government will respond to the report within three months and a work programme will be developed for Cabinet consideration before the voluntary moratorium ends in five weeks. She stressed that with such a complex issue, time would be needed before decisions on the individual recommendations could be made.

Copies of the report – as a four volume print set or CD Rom – will be available in public libraries and for purchase from book stores in six regional centres: Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Hard copies of the report cost $45.00 and CD-Roms $5.00.

It can also be downloaded free from the Royal Commission’s website: http://www.gmcommission.govt.nz/RCGM/index.html

ENDS

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