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


One Million Txts To Extend GE Moratorium

Media release

Campaign For One Million Txts To Extend Ge Moratorium

A national campaign has been launched to generate a ‘virtual march’ of a million New Zealanders in favour of extending the GE moratorium.

Take 5 is a campaign using a unique mix of text messages and the internet to give all New Zealanders a polling booth at arms reach and a chance to personally have their say.

“We want to create a “virtual march” of a million New Zealanders that will make the government sit up and listen to the strength of feeling for extending the GE moratorium.” said Take 5 organiser Greg Menendez.

The campaign kicks off this morning in Auckland with Waitakere Mayor Bob Harvey joining actor Bruce Hopkins of “Lord of the Rings”, musician Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins, rower Dudley Storey a medalist at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Peter Chaplin a renown chef to the stars and the Take 5 team handing out postcards that will guide everyday New Zealanders on how to vote via text messaging from their mobile phone or go online to www.take5.net.nz

The postcards will be distributed nationwide and supported by ten billboards in the main centres portraying a baby being fed by a rubber-gloved scientist’s hand with the caption “Rug Rat or Lab Rat.”

“The Take 5 campaign will give an opportunity for all New Zealanders to let the Prime Minister know what they think about this unrelenting move towards releasing GE and how it is important that we take another 5 years to be really sure it is the right thing to do,” said Mr. Menendez.

“As a brand marketing consultant I would strongly warn my clients against anything that would irreversibly tarnish their brand image. New Zealand is perceived globally as a clean and green oasis in the Pacific. Releasing GE will alter the perceptions and ultimately the behaviour of our food and tourism customers forever. Strategically it’s primitive.”

“The Take 5 campaign is neither for or against GE. We are simply saying there is not enough evidence to make this call. We believe there is a better way to manage the decisions around any GE release in New Zealand and a better way for New Zealanders to have their say”, says Mr. Menendez.

The key word is “responsibility”, according to co-organiser Lisa Er, CEO of Lisa’s Healthy Foods Limited.

“Is it responsible to let something out of the lab that could affect our entire environment without fully understanding how it can be contained?” she says.

“Is it responsible to feed people on GE food before the long-term studies have been done? We believe we are taking responsibility for the future – our children’s future and their children’s.”

Also, Lisa is concerned that our freedom of choice to eat GE free food, and subsequently organic food, will be lost forever as the difficulties of containing GE crops become more apparent.

“New Zealand has a wonderful buffer zone – it’s called the sea! Let’s use our isolation to our advantage” says Lisa.

Online lobbying company iLobby is providing its services to channel and manage the gathering of the online Take 5 votes, says iLobby President Martin Brown.

“We have become involved because we are convinced that the release of GE at this time would be a big mistake for New Zealand,” he says.

“It would do irreparable damage to the image New Zealand enjoys globally that Tourism New Zealand and others have spent millions growing and nurturing and undo much of the hard work done over many years by our leading food export brands.

The campaign is built on five reasons why GE should be kept in the lab for another five years:

- New Zealand’s key export markets do not want GE food. Releasing GE does not make economic sense.

- New Zealand enjoys a clean green image globally. Releasing GE will irreversibly damage this.

- Extending the GE moratorium by 5 years will not stop New Zealand scientists developing medicines to improve human health.

- No long-term studies have been completed on humans eating GE food. How can we “proceed with caution” when the scientists don’t even know what’s going on?

- It appears altered genes can transfer from GE plants to weeds. NZ’s economy relies heavily on agriculture. The last thing we need are super weeds.


Take 5 has been organised by Greg Menendez and Lisa Er. Greg Menendez is a brand-marketing consultant who was previously the Marketing Director for Nike New Zealand. He has also worked for brands such as Apple Computer, Telecom Xtra, Vodafone, Phoenix Organics, Lisa’s Healthy Foods and A2 Corporation, the biotechnology company behind A2 Milk.

Lisa Er is the CEO of Lisa’s Healthy Foods, a well-known food brand behind the popular Lisa’s Hummus. Lisa was businesswoman of the year in 2002 and is married with 3 sons.


Greg Menendez, Phone: +64-21-644443.

Lisa Er, Phone: +64-21-777473.

Jonty Rutherford – Media Liaison, Phone: +64-21-410040.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Yesterday’s Big Parliamentary Air Kiss To China

In order to obtain support from the two major parties, Act Party deputy leader Brooke Van Velden twice had to soften the language of her parliamentary motion yesterday condemning China’s persecution of the Uighurs. The key word “genocide” was deleted. Evidently, the kind of resolution passed by a conservative government in the UK proved to be far too tough for a centre-left Labour government and a centre-right National opposition to countenance. Yesterday, the two major parties were united in their fear of retribution from China... More>>


Government: Fair Pay Agreements To Improve Pay And Conditions For Essential Workers

The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. More>>


Public Services: Government Sets Pay And Workforce Expectations For The Public Sector

The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful ... More>>


Government: Budget 2021 Reprioritises Nearly $1 Billion

Hon Grant Robertson Deputy Prime Minister Minister of Finance The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, ... More>>


PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>


PM Ardern And PM Morrison: Commencement Of Two-Way Quarantine-Free Travel Between Australia And New Zealand

Joint Statement by Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern Commencement of two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels