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

 


New Food Bill Presents a Serious Threat to Maori Food Sovere

New Food Bill Presents a Serious Threat to Maori Food Sovereignty


A new piece of legislation known as the ‘Food Bill’ currently making its way through parliament may have serious ramifications for food security and sovereignty for Māori.


"This Bill is another example of the Crown eroding Māori rights and extending its reach of ownership into the fundamentals of life, that being food and seed”, says Dr Jessica Hutchings (Te Waka Kai Ora Hua ParakoreHua Parakore producer and academic).


Te Waka Kai Ora (the National Māori Organics Authority) fundamentally opposes any move which affects the self-sustaining right of indigenous communities to produce, share, and trade food and seed.


The Food Bill has been presented as an amendment to the current ‘out-dated’ Food Act (1981) with a purpose to increase food safety. However Te Waka Kai Ora believe that the law change will increase costs, bureaucracy and government control over our food taonga (treasures) and will ultimately undermine our tino rangatiratanga (self-determination).


In response to the uproar the Bill has created around capturing seed propagation, the NZ Food Safety Authority has recommended an alteration to the definition of ‘food’ to ensure propagation (collecting and re-sowing of seed) is kept outside its parameters. The NZFSA also states that the Food Bill gives the government the ability to exempt certain activities.


However TWKO believes the definitions around ‘food’ and ‘selling’ remain unacceptably vague, and the Bill still involves a significant move by government to further regulate and control our food systems. The Bill is also a result of New Zealand’s need to comply with World Trade Organisation agreements. TWKO has concerns around the wider context of globalisation, and opening the door to the agendas of multinational food corporations which use Genetically Engineered seed and aggressive lobbying tactics to undermine local, GE free food systems.


Furthermore, the move is irresponsible in light of the obesity and diabetes epidemic facing Māori. The Food Bill will add further costs to food production system and may have flow on effects to the availability and price of healthy kai, and therefore health outcomes for Māori. There are also concerns around the inclusion of rongoa (medicines) within the definition of food, and this is of significant concern to the many Māori practitioners and communities that use natural remedies.


“Seed is sacred and it is to be nurtured, cared for, and then passed to future generations to ensure the survival of communities, we must be responsible for saving and caring for our seeds and as indigenous peoples this is our role”, concludes Dr Hutchings.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Nauru: Scholars Urge Minister To Act On Deteriorating Democracy

“Since the 2013 election in Nauru, there has been a series of disturbing developments on the islands that indicate a severe deterioration in the state of its parliamentary democracy and in the rule of law,” say the scholars. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: NZ Begins Presidency Of UN Security Council

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the start of New Zealand’s month-long Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in New York. More>>

ALSO:


Labour: Cash For Charter Schools, Mould For State Schools

“Recently released financial statements show the Whangarei charter school He Puna Marama received $3.9 million in government funding to the end of last year. Yet their audited accounts show they only spent $1.4 million on education, leaving almost $2.5 million over two years unaccounted for." More>>

ALSO:

Kiwirail Plans Shift From Electric: National Urged Not To Take Backwards Step

The National Government shouldn’t drag New Zealand backwards by replacing its climate friendly electric trains with carbon-polluting diesel trains, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Capital Connection:

Harmful Digital Communication Bill Passes: Focus Must Be On Education

InternetNZ acknowledges the passage of the Harmful Digital Communications Bill into law this afternoon, and says that the sooner the education efforts at the heart of the legislation start, the better... More>>

ALSO:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza Blockade: Māori TV Crew Returning Safely From Israel

A Māori Television crew will be flown back from Israel after their boat was detained by the Israeli Navy while attempting to break the Gaza blockade. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news