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Sir Paul Reeves To Chair Bioethics Council

28 May 2002

Former Governor General and Anglican Archbishop Sir Paul Reeves has been appointed the inaugural Chair of Toi Te Taiao: The Bioethics Council, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs, announced today. The Minister is also calling for nominations for membership of the Council.

"The Government is moving swiftly to establish the Council in line with the recommendation made by the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification," Marian Hobbs said.

"A major part of the Council's work will be to engage the public in thinking about cultural, ethical and spiritual aspects of biotechnology."

Marian Hobbs said the Council will be an independent adviser to the Government on the values New Zealanders hold on the use of biotechnology.

"Sir Paul, with his leadership experience in cultural and spiritual contexts, is uniquely qualified to lead the Council in a task that will be challenging and important for New Zealand society," Marian Hobbs said.

He has extensive experience in government decision-making, constitutional issues and in mediation.

Nominations for membership of the Bioethics Council are now being sought.

"I am seeking eight or nine members who are respected leaders in their field. Members must have open and inquiring minds, the ability to work collaboratively and the ability to deal with complex issues," Marian Hobbs said.

"I need a council whose members exercise good judgement and collectively are conversant with science, tikanga Mâori, ethics, cultural and spiritual values."

Ends

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