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ERMA Withholds Public Information On G.E.

3 November 2001

ERMA Withholds Public Information On G.E. Experiments To Maori

The Mana Maori political party is concerned that the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) is withholding important information regarding GE experiments which could impact on public wellbeing. The issue was highlighted when members of Mana Maori and Nga Wahine Tiaki o te Ao, participated in Wednesday¹s peaceful occupation of the ERMA office in Wellington.

The group requested that staff hand over information listing all G.E. experiments already approved by the authority. The list they received summarised information for only 166 out of 683 applications that have been approved to date. "It¹s obvious that GE is operating in an environment of secrecy, and it is also obvious that the Treaty of Waitangi is being violated daily," said Angeline Greensill. Twenty-two of the applications listed tampered with native flora and fauna. There is no indication that tangata whenua have had any input whatsoever.

"As the Crown¹s treaty partner, every application approved in this country and should be done so in full negotiation with tangata whenua," said Ken Mair. "The information received indicated that ERMA has rubber stamped applications bringing into question their competence as a risk management authority."

Mana Maori will continue to pressure the Crown on this matter and call upon tangata whenua and other concerned citizens to do likewise. This is not only an environmental issue, it is a public health issue. The people have a right to access information so that they know what¹s happening in their own backyards.

For more information and contact numbers:

Angeline Greensill: Ph: 7 8384466 ext 8413 Fax: 7 8384366 Email: ngahina@waikato.ac.nz

Ken Mair: Phone 021 508299


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