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


"Catch 22" As Trans-Tasman Authority Blocks Info

12 May 2005

"Catch 22" As Trans-Tasman Authority Blocks Information

Trans-Tasman authorities based in Australia have created a "Catch 22" situation where NZ laws on Freedom of Information do not apply but Section 15 of the Australian code blocks New Zealand's access to the information.

GE Free NZ wrote to FSANZ under the Official Information Act for the safety data and assessments on Bt10 which has contaminated corn exports from the US. We were told that the Official Information NZ did not apply to FSANZ Authority and to apply under the Freedom of Information Act (Australia).

Now after five letters, this application has been refused under a legal technicality that sets an alarming precident. The Authorities say that under "section 15" of the Australian Code information cannot be released to a request from a New Zealand Address, only an Australian one.

"It is astonishing that the Australian-dominated authority have resorted to Section 15 of their Freedom of Information Act to refuse New Zealand enquries. It claims to be trans-Tasman but at the same time they say our standards don't apply, " says Clare Bleakley from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

This loophole must be closed and access to information properly safeguarded.

The blocking tactics are an example of an alarming loss of public access to information arising from Australian -based regulators. The situation demands intervention and action by the New Zealand Government..

"FSANZ is acting illegally in blocking this information. At the same time as creating this secrecy they are refusing to act over the illegal presence of GE Bt10 corn " says Claire Bleakley

"It is a very serious issue if the Trans Tasman Agencies refuse access to information to a sovereign nation they are supposed to represent".


© 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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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>>


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



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news