GE Free Northland (in food & environment) May/ June 2020
GE Free Northland became a s274 (interested) party in support of Whangarei District Council and Far North District Council's appeal against Northland Regional Council, due to the NRC's controversial 16 July 2019 GE/GMOs decision ( to exclude all precautionary and prohibitive GE/GMO provisions from the proposed new Regional Plan for Northland).  

Northland Regional Council to take "back seat" on GMO appeal

notice how NRC Clr Martin Robinson has ethically stood aside, given his conflict of interest (Martin is both a Regional councillor for Northern Coastal Ward and spokesperson GE Free Northland) but how former NRC Chairman Bill Shepherd did NOT stand aside last year when he was Chair of NRC when it came to the vote on GE/GMO issue... despite Mr. Shepherds conflict of interest as a Federated Farmers of NZ man


GE Free Northland seeks fighting funds

Northland Age

22 August 2019

by Peter Jackson


GE Free Northland is appealing for financial support for its legal challenge against the Northland Regional Council's decision to exclude precautionary and prohibitive GE/GMO provisions from its proposed regional plan.

"In our view the NRC has failed to make a sound decision on the GE/GMOs issue, despite the scientific, economic and cultural evidence presented by submitters supporting provisions to control the adverse effects of GMO use on the environment through the plan," chair Linda Grammer said.

"We will join the Whangārei District Council and Far North District Council in seeking relief in the Environment Court against the NRC.

"With help we can ensure strong precautionary and prohibitive GMO provisions are placed in the new regional plan.


Conservationists dispute genetic modification rule (by NRC) in Northland

Flawed Northland Regional Council decision bound for court

23 July 2019

Northland Age

by editor Peter Jackson


"Flawed Northland Regional Council decision bound for court"

Northland Regional Council chairman Bill Shepherd's use of his casting vote to break a 4-4 deadlock over the issue of whether or not to include provisions for the management of genetically modified organisms in the council's proposed regional plan has outraged critics of the technology, who have vowed to fight it in court.

Northland Regional Council's GMO decision and process met with outrage

23 July 2019 Northern Advocate article

"Northland Regional Council's GMO decision and process met with outrage"

by reporter Lindy Laird


Environmental groups and individuals have been scathing about the regional council turning its back on provisions that would prohibit genetically modified organisms being trialled in or introduced to Northland.

At its general meeting last Tuesday, a casting vote by chairman Bill Shepherd narrowly tipped the vote against a GMO precautionary approach being stipulated in the new Northland Regional Plan.

Critics, including at least one NRC member, say the decision was based on processes which were ''flawed'', ''hard to justify'', ''a betrayal'' and ''undemocratic''.

It also puts Northland out of sync with the anti-GMO policies of the Far North and Whangārei District Councils and the super-sized unitary Auckland Council. Small, in-recovery Kaipara District Council has not yet formed a GMO policy.

NRC Clr Mike Finlayson expose: Northland Regional Council hi-jacked by Federated Farmers   


Cr Mike Finlayson: Hijacked by Federated Farmers- 18 July 2019 Northland Age


Many Northlanders share serious concerns over letting loose genetically engineered (GE) organisms into our natural environment. Possums, stoats and wild ginger are but of a few of the 'bright ideas' that have had disastrous consequences. On Tuesday our council voted to let this happen in Northland. I was shocked and dismayed.

"Door open to GMOs in the North" There are fears genetically engineered plants and gene-modified animals could be used if restrictions aren't put in place" "Genetically modified organisms could be released in Northland"

GE Free Northland is furious with Northland Regional Council's decision not to put controls on genetically engineered plants (GE) and gene-modified animals.

The grassroots organisation - which in 2000 was backed by a 7000-name petition calling for Northland to be GE free - fears genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could now be used in the area.

Chairwoman Zelka Grammar said without restrictions, the likes of genetically engineered salmon - which were found to mutate in a South Island trial - could be introduced in a marine farm anywhere in Northland.

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