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


NZ welcomes consensus on genetic technology

Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for the Environment
Member of Parliament for Dunedin South

27 March 2006 Media Statement
New Zealand welcomes international consensus on genetic technology

New Zealand fully supported the consensus agreement reached last Friday (24 March) in Brazil by the international Working Group on genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs) as part of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

GURTs encompass a wide range of technologies, not just seed sterilisation, that provide the ability to turn on or off gene expression. The Working Group agreed to respect farmers’ rights to preserve seeds under traditional cultivation and for further research to be undertaken on the impacts of GURTs, particularly on indigenous and local communities.

Minister for the Environment David Benson-Pope says this consensus outcome is what the New Zealand delegation went to the meeting to achieve. There was no disagreement on the final text adopted by the Working Group.

“This agreement is in line with New Zealand’s position, which will continue to be guided by New Zealand laws and international agreements we have signed up to,” said Mr Benson-Pope. “Our government strives in such negotiations to accommodate the concerns of others, and we are happy to have reached an outcome that satisfies all parties.

“The New Zealand government has no view on the merits or otherwise of genetically modified organisms developed using GURTs. Our position is to rigorously assess the risks and benefits of these technologies, if and when they arise, on a case-by-case basis under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. The New Zealand government is not aware of any plans to conduct 'field trials' of GURTs in New Zealand,” said David Benson-Pope.

“New Zealand supports further research on the impacts of GURTs, and also respects the right of farmers and indigenous and local communities to use, save and exchange their farm-saved seeds, subject to national legislation.

“We encourage the participation of indigenous and local communities in all future discussions on GURTs under the Convention on Biological Diversity and agree that capacity building initiatives are required to enable developing countries to make informed decisions on GURTs,” he said.

The decision of the Working Group will now be forwarded for adoption to the plenary session of the Conference of Parties (COP8) this week.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news