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Greens eye big result in 2005

7 June, 2004
Greens eye big result in 2005

The Green Party has extended an olive branch to Labour, at the conclusion of the party's annual conference in Wellington today, but stressed its commitment to keeping New Zealand GE-free.

"We believe the best hope for preserving our unique environment, lifting all children out of poverty, building a sustainable energy infrastructure and advancing other Green policies lies in the Greens and Labour winning a majority at the next election," said Co-leader Rod Donald.

"The Greens will not betray their constituents," promised Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons. "At the next election, commitment to a GE-free environment will be at the top of our agenda. We will not be demanding the reinstatement of the moratorium but we will be negotiating other ways to keep New Zealand GE-free.

"While we believe that significant overseas developments are making the commercial release of GE organisms in this country increasing unlikely, we will maintain our 2002 pre-election pledge not to support this government because it has opened the door to commercial release.

"MAF's extraordinary announcement on Friday that it is reviewing New Zealand's policy of zero tolerance for GE contamination of imported seed for growing vindicates our position. It looks as if this may well be the next battle for the GE movement."

"We are confident that our principled and consistent stand on a wide range of issues will ensure more Green seats at the next election," said Rod Donald. "To achieve that goal we will be campaigning exclusively for the party vote but our candidates will still be on the ballot paper, in order to get our message out strongly in each electorate."

Some 150 members attended the three-day conference, which saw the election of Aucklander Karen Davis to replace Catherine Delahunty as the party's Female Co-convenor. Catherine, one list place away from a Parliamentary seat in 2002, will be running again in 2005.

The conference concluded today with the launch by Safe Food spokesperson Sue Kedgley of the 'Food Revolution', a comprehensive multi-media campaign to encourage New Zealanders to insist on the right to know what's in the food we eat and where it comes from (details at: http://www.greens.org.nz/food-revolution).

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