Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Other work underway to implement decisions

Other work underway to implement decisions

Today's announcements of the government's proposals for amending the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 are the latest steps in implementing the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (RCGM).

The government’s overall policy on genetic modification is in line with the Royal Commission’s major conclusion: that New Zealand should proceed with caution while preserving opportunities.

The amendments to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 are designed to achieve that end.

Other decisions include:

Toi te Taiao: The Bioethics Council (RCGM recommendations 9.2 & 14.2) Toi te Taiao: The Bioethics Council was set up in December 2002 and will provide advice to Government on biotechnological issues (including those relating to genetic modification) that have a significant cultural, ethical and spiritual dimension. An equally important part of its job is to promote public dialogue on the issues. The 11-member Council is chaired by Sir Paul Reeves.

A programme of publicly-funded research (RCGM recommendations 6.12-6.14, 7.1 & 7.4) Public funding has been earmarked for research programmes to investigate the environmental and social impacts of genetic modification. Specific projects include work on the impact of plants, GM and conventional, on the soil and horizontal gene transfer – in which genes from one plant are passed to another in pollen, as happens in normal plant reproduction. Other research is looking at the potential impact on overseas customers’ perceptions of New Zealand’s ‘clean, green image’ and at the potential economic costs and benefits of GM. The government agency that funds research, the Foundation for Research Science and Technology, has a list of some of this research on its website at: http://www.frst.govt.nz/about/portfolio.cfm?idPortfolio=9&Version=1


Development of a Biotechnology Strategy (RCGM recommendation 14.4) Biotechnology is a broad term for a group of technologies based on the application of biological process to solve problems and make products. Genetic Modification is just one branch of Biotechnology. Other techniques include DNA technology and molecular and cellular biochemistry. At the end of last year, the Government launched a discussion document on a Biotechnology Strategy for the growth and management of biotechnology in New Zealand. Public submissions closed on 6 December and work is now going on to develop the Strategy itself.

Review of ERMA The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) is the main decision-making body for managing risks associated with hazardous substances and new organisms, including genetically-modified organisms. The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification noted that ERMA, as well as other institutions involved in making the decisions, was doing a sound and conscientious job. But it did make a number of recommendations it believed would enhance the regulation of genetic modification in New Zealand. A review of ERMA is currently underway and, among other things, that will look at the expertise and experience within the organization and whether this is appropriate for carrying out its role in dealing with new organisms.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election