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

 

Backing for Local Right of Protection Against Risks of GMOs

Backing for Local Right of Protection Against Risks of GMOs


The Environment Court decision recently released [1] has upheld the right for the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, in its Regional Policy statement, to place wording for a precautionary approach to be taken on the growing of genetically modified (GMO) crops in the region. It also has given Councils the right, after the appropriate processes have been fulfilled; to place policies and rules around the GMO land use activities, if they are deemed to be of regional significance by the community. Councils can now be forward thinking by identifying emerging issues that require a precautionary approach to protect their people, local environment and economic wellbeing.

The Rotorua based Crown Research Institute (CRI), Scion, who are developing genetically engineered pine trees with altered reproductive traits and resistance to herbicide applications, challenged the Regional Council wording and sought to remove any reference to GMO’s in the preamble of the Regional Policy statement. After two rounds of mediation there was no consensus achieved, the case against the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and five 274 parties went to a one day hearing in the Environment Court, Tauranga. GE Free NZ were one of five 274 parties who presented witness statements on behalf of their members in the region.

“We are very pleased with the Environment Court decision and welcome the protection and precaution it signals to all rate paying communities. It is fundamental to democracy that farmers and residents all over the country are able to have a say on land-use issues in their region, especially when livelihoods and economic wellbeing are under threat from unknown risks of new technologies like GMO’s,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

“There were two attempts at mediation, but Scion refused to accept the wording put forward. We believe that it was unprincipled for the CRI to use the taxpayer’s money to try and shut down the community voice in this way."

Minister for the Environment Amy Adams has said she will change the Resource Management Act (RMA) to disallow any ruling on genetically modified organisms by councils, arguing that such a ruling was the place of the central government under the Hazardous Substance and New Organisms Act (HSNO). However the Environment Court has noted that it was a recommendation of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (RCGM)[2] that Councils, through the RMA could place land-use designations for genetically modified organisms.

"We would like to thank our lawyers for their excellent arguments, the 274 parties and our supporters" said Mrs. Bleakley “As the Royal Commission highlighted, if GMO risks are left unaddressed community conflict over GMO contamination could destroy good neighbourliness, as is being seen in the pending "Steve Marsh" court case [3] in Australia starting on the 10th February".

References:

[1] Decision on ENV-2013-AKL-146 NZ Forest Research Institute Ltd (Scion) v Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 18 Dec 2013 http://www.gefree.org.nz/ge-free-court-actions/

[2] Royal Commission on Genetic Modification Chapter 13 – Major Conclusions: preserving opportunities. http://www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/organisms/royal-commission-gm/chapter-13.pdf

[3] http://gmo-food.theglobalmail.org/steve-marsh-bad-seeds

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Legal Issues: Gordon Campbell On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

Yesterday’s interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public.

Apoparently, the fuel industry is an oligopoly where the Big Three (BP, Mobil and Z) that import 90% of this country’s fuel also control the supply, pricing, profit margins etc etc, from wharf to petrol pump, thereby all but throttling genuine competition at every stage along the way. More>>

 

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels