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Maori Will Fight To Maintain GM Moratorium

Miss Chris Webster: Independent Candidate, Te Tai Tonga

Miss Chris Webster, independent candidate for Te Tai Tonga, says she will continue to fight to maintain the moratorium on commercial GM releases and is concerned that Maori interests in this important debate continue to be ignored.

Miss Webster says the growing dissatisfaction around the moratorium on commercial releases of GM crops now reflects what Maori have been arguing for since the early 1980s.

“Maori people from throughout the country came forward and participated in the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification, put their views and concerns, and even recommended workable solutions, but were ignored.

“The Maori MPs were ill-prepared and subsequently out-voted and failed to protect the rights that Te Tiriti o Waitangi guarantees to Maori as tangata whenua – that is protection of their values, lands and other natural resources.

“Maori own about 5 percent of the land and many communities have initiated organic farming and those rights are presently under threat from the proposed lifting of the moratorium of commercial GM crops next year.

She says the Maori MPs as electorate MPs have an ultimate responsibility – that is to the people of the electorate, and not to be passive, rubber-stamping functionaries of a political party.

““I have been involved in the GM issue since late 1990s as an analyst, as an active participant in the royal commission, and in subsequent successful court action against ERMA.

“As an independent MP I will continue to fight to keep that moratorium in place.

Ends. Contact: Miss Chris Webster – chriswebster@paradise.net.nz Tel: 04 577 0865

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