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


Council can introduce precautionary GMO provisions

Northland Regional Council can introduce precautionary GMO provisions.

Federated Farmers of New Zealand (FFNZ) has abandoned its legal challenge in the Court of Appeal, [1] regarding GMO provisions in the Northland Regional Policy Statement (RPS). The Northland Regional Council will now be able to implement precautionary GMO provisions in the Regional Policy Statement, after a delay of two years.

We congratulate all the respondents, the Whangarei District Council, Northland Regional Council, the Soil and Health Association, [2] and all 274 parties who defended the right of the Regional Council to make planning decisions about the outdoor use of GMOs in their region.

FFNZ mounted a series of challenges, the first to the Environment Court in 2015 where they argued that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) had sole responsibility for the regulation of GMOs under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO). Principal Environment Court Judge Newhook found that there is jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act (RMA) for Regional Councils to make planning decisions about the outdoor use of GMOs in their regions. This judgment was not accepted by FFNZ and they took the case to the High Court, where Justice Mary Peters, 31 Aug 2016, upheld the Environment Court ruling. Subsequently, FFNZ further challenged the ruling to the Court of Appeal.

Federated Farmers of NZ's decision to withdraw its appeal comes after the failure to pass alarming changes to the RMA, proposed by the Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, and supported by Federated Farmers. The changes would have prevented councils and communities from placing precautionary controls on the management of GMO's in their regions and allow Ministers to override and annul local body decisions. Although no longer represented in Parliament, the Maori Party was instrumental in “carving out” these changes and introducing amendments to the RMA, where GMO policies are expressly exempt from Ministerial interference (s.360D) when placed in Council plans.

"It is now enshrined in law that all councils are able to place precautionary and prohibitive GMO policies in their plans” said Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

“We endorse the call by GE Free Northland asking Federated Farmers to withdraw their outstanding appeals against Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council the Auckland Unitary Plan, and the Hastings District Plan on the GMO plan changes”.

The NRC is now able to implement the GMO wording in their Northland Regional Policy Statement. The proposed Regional Plan for Northland is now open for submissions, and support for precautionary and prohibitive GMO provisions, policies, and rules are also needed. The submission period closes closing on Wednesday 15 November at 4pm. [4]


[1] CA 541/2016 Notice of Abandonment of Appeal https://goo.gl/SZbRCy

[2] A win for clean, green, GE-free New Zealand http://mailchi.mp/organicnz/test-email?e=b4736ee026

[3] 360D - Regulations that prohibit or remove certain rules

[4] All details on how to make a submission in response to the NRC proposed regional plan


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Lest We Forget: ANZAC Day - WWI 100 Year Anniversary

The Governor-General, The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, GNZM, QSO, will represent the people of New Zealand at the 2018 Anzac Day commemorations in Gallipoli. On Anzac Day, Dame Patsy will speak at the Joint New Zealand and Australian Dawn Service in Anzac Cove, and at the New Zealand Commemorative Service at Chunuk Bair later that morning... More>>


HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say - Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Thompson + Clark & Russia’s World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>


PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in Europe for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>


Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>


Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>





Featured InfoPages