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Senior scientist joins ERMA board

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

12 April 2006 Media Statement

Senior scientist joins ERMA board

A senior New Zealand scientist from the Environment and Science Research Institute is the newest appointee to the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), Environment Minister David Benson-Pope announced today.

Val Orchard will take up her position on 1 May to join the seven current Authority members. Mr Benson-Pope also confirmed the reappointment of the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Authority.

The Authority’s primary purpose is to protect people and the environment from the risks of hazardous substances and new organisms by making decisions on applications to import or manufacture new organisms and hazardous substances.

Mr Benson-Pope, in welcoming Dr Orchard to the Authority, said that New Zealanders are very fortunate to have such an experienced and dedicated person joining New Zealand’s regulating body.

Val Orchard is a molecular biologist and senior manager for the Environment and Science Research Institute.

"Dr Orchard’s considerable science and research background augments the skills of the Authority’s existing membership, and will enhance the Authority’s ability to make decisions on the complex matters that come before it," said Mr Benson-Pope.

"Dr Orchard has particular expertise in research that underpins society’s need for people to live and work in safe and healthy environments.

"I also congratulate Neil Walter on his reappointment as Chair of the Authority and Professor George Clark as Deputy Chair, I am delighted they are able to continue with this valuable work."

The Environmental Risk Management Authority includes people with knowledge of Maori and community issues in addition to knowledge of environmental law and 'on the ground' expertise in dealing with hazardous substances.


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