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Expert To Brief Government On Toxics Treaty

Auckland, 12 November 2000: Greenpeace has brought an international expert to New Zealand to brief the government on why it must agree to eliminate dioxins under an international toxics treaty.

Dioxins are some of the most dangerous chemicals known. Dioxins are known to increase the incidence of all cancers, they are linked to birth defects, diabetes and infertility.

“At present New Zealand is one of just a small handful of countries who are undermining a global aim to eliminate dioxins”, said Sue Connor, Greenpeace New Zealand toxics campaigner. “New Zealand has shown that it can be an international leader, for example New Zealand has taken on a strong leadership role on nuclear disarmament. However in relation to international toxics agreements, New Zealand seems to take a weak position. Greenpeace is urging this government to distinguish itself from the last and support a strong binding toxics treaty”.

Australian expert, Mariann Lloyd-Smith, will be discussing New Zealand’s position on the toxics treaty with government officials this week. The government will be making a decision on its position on the toxics treaty late this month.

Greenpeace has been touring New Zealand over the past 5 weeks to inform New Zealanders that this government is, at present, failing to protect them, future generations and the environment from dangerous dioxins.

“Greenpeace has spoken directly to large numbers of New Zealanders while on tour and reached thousands more through local media about the government’s weak position on the toxics treaty. Thousands of those people have sent postcards to the government and taken action through the Greenpeace toxics-map website”.” said Connor. “This treaty is something that New Zealanders know and are concerned about. The government has the opportunity NOW to act to protect the environment and peoples health”.

For further information please contact Sue Connor on (025) 790 817 or media liason, Logan Petley, in the Greenpeace New Zealand office (09) 630 6317
Mariann Lloyd-Smith sits on the National Advisory Board on Scheduled Waste on the Australian New Zealand Environment & Conservation Committee. She is a member of the State of the Environment Land Reference Group for the ACT Office of the Commissioner for the Environment, the Hazardous Waste Act Reference Group for Environment Australia, and the Technical Advisory Group for Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances. She is also studying for a PhD (Law) in Sydney.

Mariann will be available for interviews on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th of November.

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