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New Appointments For ERMA Announced

A professor of chemistry and a specialist in the agriculture and food industry have been appointed to the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs, announced today.

Professor George Clark from the University of Auckland, and Jane Lancaster, well known in the agriculture and food industry, replace Dr Oliver Sutherland and Mr John Maasland whose terms have expired. Dr Lindie Nelson has been re-appointed to the authority for another year.

Ms Hobbs said the appointments plus the introduction on July 2 of a new system for managing hazardous substances provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the make-up of the Authority. Genetic modification and the proposals put forward by the Royal Commission were issues facing the authority.

"The make-up of the new authority is crucial to its success," Marian Hobbs said. "The new members include people with specialised technical knowledge in areas such as molecular biochemistry and agricultural science in addition to knowledge of industry and government policy."

ERMA is an expert body established under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. Its primary purpose is to protect people from the risks of hazardous substances and new organisms by assessing, approving or declining applications to import or manufacture new organisms and hazardous substances.

In approving a hazardous substance, ERMA can set comprehensive controls on the use, handling, transport, storage and disposal of the substance ƒ{ controls that everyone must abide by.


Biographies of the new members.

Prof George Clark is currently part of the University of Auckland Chemistry Department. He has extensive experience in molecular biochemistry and will provide technical expertise in issues related to genetic modification. Prof Clark has been involved with many committees and institutes relating to chemistry and will contribute an advanced level of technical expertise in the science of new organisms.

Mrs Jane Lancaster is currently the director of Catalyst R&D Ltd, who specialise in research and development project design and management, and Agrifood Solutions Ltd, providing customised and specialised scientific and technical expertise in food and agriculture. She has also been involved in several advisory committees for government departments such as the Foundation for Science and Research, and the Ministry for Research, Science and Technology. Mrs Lancaster has extensive experience working with industry, in particular the agricultural industry, and will also provide sound technical knowledge on issues related to food and crop research. Her experience as director of two companies will also add increased management experience to the Board.
The new make-up of the Authority is as follows:


Name

Skill area

Ms Jill White (Chair)
Management
Political representation
Local Government and community
Science and human health
Prof George Clark Chemistry
Molecular biology
Mrs Jane Lancaster Food and agriculture
Industry and business
Biochemistry
Dr Lindie Nelson Economics
Resource management
Policy analysis
Ms Prudence Kapua Environmental law
Maori and Treaty issues
Mr Tony Haggerty Hazardous substances
Emergency response
HSNO regulations knowledge
Industry
Mrs Helen Hughes Plant ecology
Environmental issues
Professor Colin Mantell Medicine
Maori health
Management


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