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Greens challenge Labour to move

3 June 2002

Greens challenge Labour to move

The Green Party has ended its election year AGM with a call for Labour to shift its intransigent position on GE.

"The feeling from this conference is overwhelming," said co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. "Members believe we have already given away too much by accepting that we cannot stop GE field trials.

"No further compromise is now possible without letting the genie out of the bottle. There is no half-way on release: GE plants, animals and micro-organisms will either be released into our farms and our environment, or they will not.

"This means that if Labour needs our help to remain in power after the election, they will have to move their bottom-line and agree to extend the moratorium. For them, this is surely a small price to pay for the continuation of a centre-left government in this country," said Ms Fitzsimons.

Earlier, the conference gave unanimous endorsement to a remit making extension of the moratorium on the release of GE organisms a condition for entering any coalition.

"We've made GE our bottom-line," said co-leader Rod Donald. "But we will also be pushing very hard for other policies in post-election negotiations, such as those contained in our just-released children's policy.

"And that's the key word: negotiation. We are more than happy to sit down with Labour and negotiate, debate and work through all our policies, except GE. On that issue, New Zealand has been backed against the precipice: there simply is no room to move."

The conference ended today (Monday) with a standing ovation to news that the Green Party has 67 candidates ready to contest the election; at least 52 will stand in electorates.


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