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Sir Paul Reeves To Advise On Bioethics Council

Sir Paul Reeves To Advise On Establishment Of Bioethics Council

Former Governor General Sir Paul Reeves has been appointed as a special advisor to assist in the establishment of Toi te Taiao, the Bioethics Council, the Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs, announced today.

The establishment of a Bioethics Council - one of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification - was agreed to by the Government in October, 2001.

Marian Hobbs says the primary role of the council will be to act as an independent advisory body to the Government on ethical, spiritual and cultural issues in the use of biotechnology in New Zealand. The council will also provide guidelines on biotechnology issues that have a significant public impact, and ensure that the public is able to participate in the council’s activities.

"Modern biotechnology is making huge advances, but those advances have significant ethical and cultural dimensions that need to be addressed," Marian Hobbs said.

"Sir Paul, with deep understanding of ethical, cultural and spiritual issues, and his experience of Government decision-making at the highest levels, will be invaluable in helping us establish the council."

Sir Paul is currently a member of the Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council (IBAC). His role with IBAC means he is familiar with many of the issues and history associated with biotechnology here in New Zealand.

Marian Hobbs says that government officials, led by the Ministry for the Environment, are developing the council’s terms of reference and an announcement about the proposed council will be made later in the year.

Ends

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