Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Court decision empowers local body GMO protection

Court decision empowers local body protection against GMO risks

10 February 2014

/Media release for immediate release/

As people around New Zealand are preparing submissions to their local authorities, the Soil & Health Association is pleased that a recent Environment Court decision sets a precedent which empowers local bodies to protect their communities from the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The Environment Court decision in December 2013[1] allowed the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to retain reference to GMOs in its Regional Policy Statement. The court case was brought by Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute), to prevent the BOP Regional Council advising caution when considering the use of GMOs in the environment. Scion has received millions of taxpayer dollars to develop genetically engineered pine trees in a field trial at Rotorua, and the Council included precautionary wording in response to concerns from the Bay of Plenty community and primary industries.

Soil & Health, which has advocated for a GE-free New Zealand on behalf of its members and supporters for many years, took the lead role among five section 274 (interested) parties to the court case.

“It has been demonstrated that although the risk of GMO field trials may be relatively low, the potential environmental and community impact if GMO activities were able to establish in the future without integrated planning could be very significant,” said Robert Makgill, in closing legal submissions for Soil & Health and the other section 274 parties. “Whole industries could be wiped out and significant natural resources compromised. The promotion of sustainable management requires local authorities to be alert to these possibilities.”

The Environment Court’s decision sets a precedent. It clearly indicates that the Resource Management Act can be used to manage activities involving GMOs in the Bay of Plenty region. The Court indicated that the Council may propose more directive regulation in the future. Communities and industries in the Bay can now work towards stricter rules in their District and City Plans to protect and keep their ‘GE-free’ environment status and marketing advantage.

“Soil & Health congratulates the BOP Regional Council for acting on the issue in the first place. We also welcome the court decision, which will encourage communities around New Zealand, including farmers, growers, exporters and consumers, to ask their local authorities to protect their environments and livelihoods from any adverse risks of GMOs,” says Karen Summerhays, a Soil & Health member who was also a section 274 party to the court case.

[ENDS]

[1] Read the court decision at http://www.boprc.govt.nz/media/321876/environment-court-decision-18-dec-2013-env-2012-339-000041-part-one-section-17.pdf

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon


Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>




 
 

Luxon: A New National For New Zealand
National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has today announced a new National for New Zealand – a fresh, energised alternative government ready to deliver for Kiwis in 2023... More>>


Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>


Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>


CPAG: Child Poverty Monitor 2021 Highlights Persistent Inequities In Rates Of Child Poverty
Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) welcomes the release of the Child Poverty Monitor today, which shows that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty reduction targets were largely on track for Pākehā children, however significant inequities remained for tamariki Māori, Pacific and disabled children... More>>


National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels