Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


LSN rejects criticism of its funding sources

LSN rejects criticism of its funding sources

25/7/2002

The Life Sciences Network strongly rejects any assertion that its Crown Research Institute members inappropriately contributed to the politically neutral information distribution activity undertaken by the Network over the last six weeks.

“The Network has worked for three years to ensure there is balance in the debate about GE and identified an increased need for this activity as a result of a decision to make GE a defining issue at this time. We would have responded in this way whether or not there had been an election,” said Chairman, Dr William Rolleston.

“Our policy on this was set early on. The agreed policy of the Network, which was adopted in June and circulated to member organisations is:

[ ] has just asked me to make it clear what criteria are being used to make decisions with respect to campaign activities.

As discussed by the Executive Board they are:
·The LSN will not support activities which are party political (i.e. are directed at persuading voters to vote for a particular party)
·We will not contribute money to campaigns being run by other organisations but we may contribute input in our area of expertise - the GM debate
·We will prepare and distribute information resources which inform and educate candidates for Parliament, the media and members of the public
·We will continue to challenge every misrepresentation or mistruth put into the public debate with facts
·We will use advertising and other channels to promote a positive message about New Zealand's use of GM
·We will only undertake activities we have received funding for from member organisations and other supporters
(extract from e-mail to member organisations dated 25 June 2002)

“Members of the Network are New Zealand and Australian national industry organisations, universities, research institutes, science organisations, grower organisations etc.

“Projects like the Royal Commission and the focused debate around the election are separately funded. We planned a programme of information distribution activities during the heightened focus on GE as a result of the election campaign to ensure debate about GE was balanced.

“This included provision of written resources to all candidates for Parliament who had not adopted a policy opposed to the outcomes of the Royal Commission and subsequent Parliamentary decisions. To have provided those resources to candidates who opposed GE would have been a waste of our members money.

“In addition we provided a GE-Info Hotline for candidates to provide access to scientists who could provide answers to detailed questions.

“It was clear from the start of the campaign that it would be difficult to get detailed messages through to the public by using the news media. Competition for space, time and attention would make this a difficult task.

“This is also recognised by the provision of tax-payer funded advertising time and space for political parties to get their messages through.

“Because it was evident that some parties may use their tax-payer funded election advertising to get anti-GE messages into the public arena we determined we would also use paid advertorials to get our message out there.

“We believe one of the features of a healthy democracy is one where opposing ideas can be freely exchanged in public without constraint provided they are lawful and are not defamatory.

“We live in a society which values informed decision making. The debate about the GE issue has already cost taxpayers millions of dollars for a Royal Commission and for nearly full-time Green Party involvement in that Royal Commission.

“I am confident we made a politically neutral reasoned contribution to an important debate for New Zealand. The LSN and its members have always stuck to the scientifically supportable facts in this debate and will continue to do so as long as we continue to have a democratic process of decision making in New Zealand,” concluded Dr Rolleston

From the LSN news team

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news