GE Free Northland April 2015 Public Appeal for Funds

 April 2015

April 2015

This appeal requests help in paying the cost of upcoming
Environment Court action (including the cost of legal counsel)
involved in protecting our Northland new Regional Policy Statement's
precautionary GE provisions.


Northland Regional Council has (as a result of hundreds of submissions from Northland ratepayers, District Councils, Northland Conservation Board, Iwi authorities, and community groups) reinstated the precautionary GE policy in the new Regional Policy Statement, and has identified GMOs as an Issue of Significance for Northland tangata whenua and an issue of concern for Northland communities.

In direct opposition to the expressed will of the people of Northland, Federated Farmers of NZ has lodged an appeal with the Environment Court, opposing both the precautionary GE provisions and opposing GMOs being listed in the Issues of Significance for Northland tangata whenua and an issue oc concern for Northland communities.
The president of Federated Farmers is Dr William Rolleston, former Chairman of the pro GE “NZ Life Sciences Network”.  Under Dr. Rolleston's leadership (and contrary to the wishes of some Federated Farmers members), Federated Farmers of NZ's appeal seeks that Northland Regional Council remove precautionary GE provisions from our Northland new Regional Policy Statement.

GE Free Northland, along with a number of other section 274 parties and Whangarei District Council, is opposing the Federated Farmers of NZ appeal (on the GMO/GE issue).

We are working hard to make a compelling case to the Environment Court to reject Federated Farmers of NZ's appeal and support Whangarei District Council (appellant) and section 274 parties the Soil & Health Association, GE Free Northland, Taitokerau mana whenua, Far North District Council, Physicians & Scientists for Global Responsibility, and other interested parties who share the goals of the s274 parties listed above.
GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of Aotearoa NZ are seeking confirmation of their view that there is jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act for local control of outdoor use of GMOs in the face of a challenge to jurisdiction by Federated Farmers New Zealand.
 “We support the right of local bodies to manage any potential use of GMOs in their area, using the Resource Management Act.  We applaud the efforts of various NZ councils to put in place a much-needed additional tier of local protection against the risks of outdoor use of GMOs to our biosecurity, GE free primary producers, economy, environment, and food sovereignty," said GE Free Northland spokesperson Martin Robinson.
"Our councils have taken these steps because their ratepayers want a more locally responsive and planned approach than central government requires," said Mr. Robinson.
"We also strongly support the excellent precautionary and prohibitive GE/GMO policies of all Taitokerau Iwi authorities for their respective rohe, from the Bombay hills north to Cape Reinga."
The court case is being heard because Federated Farmers of NZ lodged an appeal with the Environment Court, opposing precautionary GMO provisions in the new Northland Regional Policy Statement, the over-arching policy document for resource management in Northland over the next 10 years.
GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association (along with 19 other section 274 parties who also made submissions on the GMO issue) support the Whangarei District Council and oppose Federated Farmers of NZ.
"A planning regime using the RMA would enable truly sustainable integrated management, with a view to ensuring the outdoor use of GMOs is not established in proximity to other sensitive forms of land use,” said Mr Robinson,
"Establishing jurisdiction under the RMA would facilitate local involvement in GMO issues and serve to protect existing GE-free primary producers, mana whenua and other ratepayers.  This case is of national significance."

With your help we can protect and strengthen the precautionary GE provisions in the new Northland Regional Policy Statement.

Any donations or other financial support would be greatly appreciated.  Your donations and other financial support will be used to help cover the costs of legal counsel needed for the Environment Court hearing in Whangarei on 24 April 2015 and associated costs (including bringing Expert Witnesses to Northland later this year) over the next few months.

Our bank account details are as follows:

GE Free (Northland) Inc account ¬ ANZ Kerikeri
01 0382 0009202 00

Cheques can be posted to:
Secretary, GE Free Northland PO Box 1439  Whangarei 0140 Northland

Thank you for your support so that we can continue doing the good work we do.

Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council have also undertaken excellent GMO Plan changes (WDC- Plan change #131...FNDC- Plan change #l8) to ban all GMO releases and make EPA (Environmental Protection Authority, formerly ERMA) approved outdoor GE experiments/field trials a Discretionary activity, subject to stringent additional local controls.

Auckland Council has the same excellent precautionary and prohibitive GE provisions in its proposed Unitary Plan in keeping with the recommendations of the Northland/Auckland "Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation & Management Options".

The three councils' recent actions are necessary due to serious deficiencies (as regards GMOs) in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act, as identified by Local Government NZ and many councils.

The collaborative work of the Northland/Auckland councils to keep GMOs off our patch is a wonderful victory for our region, as we work towards the first enforceable GMO Free Zone in New Zealand. 


Please help us protect the Northland new Regional Policy Statements precautionary GMO provisions, the WDC and FNDC excellent GMO Plan changes and precautionary and prohibitive GMO provisions in the Auckland Council proposed Unitary Plan.

Further information below.  Do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information.  GE Free Northland is working in  partnership with the Soil & Health Association Aotearoa NZ.

With thanks from the committee of GE Free Northland,

Zelka Linda Grammer (Chairperson) & Martin Robinson ( Spokesperson)
for GE Free Northland in food & environment
09 432 2155 (Whangarei)      09 407 8650 (Kerikeri)
Topic: NRPS- GMO's
Topic Number:  ENV-2014-329-000004

Federated Farmers of NZ v Northland Regional Council 


Genetically engineered organisms 

Federated Farmers of NZ (appellant) seeks that Northland Regional Council remove all reference to GMOs including the precautionary GMO provisions in the Northland new Regional Policy Statement.


Whangarei District Council v Northland Regional Council 


Genetically engineered organisms

Whangarei District Council (appellant) seeks to retain and strengthen the existing precautionary provisions and wording on the issue of outdoor use of genetically engineered organisms in the Northland new Regional Policy Statement.  Whangarei District Council has legitimate concerns about outdoor use of genetically engineered organisms; that is outdoor experiments and/or field trials or release into the environment, human or physical, of genetically engineered organisms.