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Decision Good News For Micro-Organism Researchers

5 May 2006

Decision Good News For Micro-Organism Researchers

A recent ERMA New Zealand approval of a University of Auckland application is good news for micro-organisms researchers.

ERMA New Zealand Chief Executive, Rob Forlong, says the University applied under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996, to import a range of selected non-pathogenic micro-organisms, in particular bacteria, for identification as well as biology and biodiversity research.

While Auckland University researchers would benefit enormously, the approval was significant because it covered a range of organisms, and was not limited to the original applicant, Mr Forlong said.

"Provided containment rules are met, the approval allows all other researchers to bring these micro-organisms into New Zealand, without having to repeat the application process.

"This means savings in time and costs for whoever else subsequently wishes to import these particular micro-organisms, and ERMA New Zealand would like to thank Auckland University for assisting New Zealand's science community," he said.

In reaching its decision, ERMA New Zealand identified potential benefits, including improved understanding of the role and relative importance of microflora ecosystems, increased skill levels for staff and post-graduate students working with microorganisms; and enhancement of New Zealand's research reputation.

The micro-organisms are subject to strict containment requirements under the Biosecurity Act 1993, in accordance with Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity Authority and ERMA New Zealand standards. Documents covering all aspects of the application are available on www.ermanz.govt.nz

ENDS


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