Call to Action- make your submission to Northland Regional Concil, protect our existing valuable GE free status

Call to Action- Have your Say on GMOs in Northland.    Protect our
existing valuable GE free status!

Submissions needed to Northland Regional Council by 3pm, Friday  9th
December 2011 in response to the NRC draft Regional Policy Statement
(RPS) document.

It's easy - with our key points/ suggestions below :)       thanks!
for your help.

What's it all about?

The Draft New RPS for Northland provides a broad direction and
framework for managing Northland's natural and physical resources,
including land, water, minerals, plants, animals and built structures.

 It is made up of:

Principles to guide the way it is carried out, identified regionally
significant issues, objectives to address the issues, and policies and
methods to achieve the objectives.  You can access the Draft new RPS
using the link below.

It is only reviewed once every 10 years, and certain individuals are
trying to weaken important environmental policies and focus unduly on
economic development.

In addition to whatever other issues are of concern to you, there is
an urgent need to make submissions to the NRC noting the glaring
omission of the NRC's precautionary GE policy, as proposed in the NRC
RPS Discussion Document 2010.

In response to this precautionary GE provision (put forward by the NRC
last year), the NRC received the largest number of submissions made on
any issue raised in the NRC RPS Discussion document 2010, supporting a
strong precautionary GE provision and... in addition....some type of
prohibitive language for GMOs (until such time as a truly strict
liability regime is put in place and the risks of GMOs are adequately
identified and evaluated)

Send your submissions by 3pm, Friday 9 December 2011 to:


Draft New Regional Policy Statement Feedback
Attention: RPS Project Manager
Northland Regional Council
Freepost 139690
Private Bag 9021, Whāngārei Mail Centre
Whāngārei 0148

Fax: 09 438 0012


or, drop it off by hand at your nearest NRC office (ring 0800 002 004
for the nearest Northland Regional Council office nearest you)

Some key points on the GE issue you may like to include in your submission:

1. State that you oppose any genetic engineering (GMO land use or GMO
aquaculture) in Northland due to economic, environmental, cultural and
social concerns and due to the inherent risks of GMOs

2.  Ask the NRC to rectify the serious omission in the NRC draft RPS
document- note that is it unacceptable that there is no mention of the
council's precautionary GE policy or the communities precautionary GE
policy in the 10 Year Community Plan- the NRC draft RPS document
should contain a strong precautionary GE policy. Note that you want
this corrected in the NRC new RPS.
that you want to see GE/GMOS included in the list of Issues of
Regional Significance. You can back this up by noting that all
councils south Auckland-Cape Reinga are working collaboratively to
keep GMOS out of the wider region including Auckland Council super
city and all Northland District Councils. You can also mention that
you are aware that the NRC is a full member of the Northland/Auckland

3. Note that your request /submission is in keeping with

a. the NRC's own strong precautionary GE policy in the operative Long
Term Council Community Plan 2009/19 (ie. the NRC 10 Year Community

b. the NRC's own proposal for a precautionary GE provision in the NRC
"RPS Discussion Document 2010"

c. the fact that the NRC received the largest number of submissions
supporting the precautionary GE provision that the NRC proposed, and
asking for this to be strengthened with some prohibitive language
(similar to what was in the adopted LTCCP's 2006/16 and 2004/14 and
which was inappropriately removed during the review of the LTCCP
2009/19, with the former Chairman stating that the place for this
strong language was in the NRC RPS).

You can further support what you're saying by quoting from the NRC
adopted LTCCP 2004/14 and 2006/16:

"The Regional Council is a member of a Northland inter-council working
group to discuss a common approach to the management of genetically
modified organisms in Northland. Until this group has completed it's
work, the council has decided to adopt a precautionary approach. This
means that there should be no further development and field testing of
transgenic organisms envisaged for agriculture, horticulture and
forestry in Northland, nor any commercial release, until the risk
potential has been adequately identified and evaluated and a strict
liability regime put in place."

d. the NRC confirming its commitment to a precautionary approach to
GMOs in Northland (at the l5 November 2011 NRC full council meeting).

e. the fact that all Iwi in Tai Tokerau made submissions (as key
stakeholders) to the NRC RPS stating their opposition to any GMOs in
Northland (through their environmental management plans submitted to
the NRC RPS). This is for environmental, economic, cultural and social
reasons and should be respected and acknowledged by the NRC.

Please state that you're extremely disappointed that the NRC failed to
vote to contribute some funds to the collaborative section 32 analysis
on GMOs being undertaken by all Northland territorial authorities and
Auckland Council "super city" (the failure to support this resolution
took place on l5 Nov 2011). With GE even when the risks are low, the
magnitude is high. Ie. the scale of potential damage, which may be

Outright prohibition of GMOs is best. Local authorities are quite
entitled to prohibit land use activities that are harmful - or
potentially harmful e.g. nuclear power stations. In our view, the NRC
should place a strong emphasis on prevention of incursions of new
organisms, GMO and otherwise (not just "management/suppression" of
existing problem organisms) and should specifically identify GMOs as a
threat. This is due in part to the nature of these self-replicating
organisms containing controversial viral promoters etc, but also
ongoing flaws/gaps in the HSNO legislation which include a lack of
strict liability and the fact that the EPA (national regulator) is not
required under the Act to take a precautionary approach to GMOs).

You could mention that not only do you have no confidence in central
government regulatory authorities or the national minimal inadequate
rules for GMOs, but that you are aware the "Ministry for the
Environment" (MFE) under the National Government (Minister Nick Smith)
has a proposal out for tender to examine lifting the existing
restrictions on GMOs under national legislation (this would only
further the risks to NZ from GMOs and undermine local efforts to
create Regional Exclusion Zones for GMOs).

State that you want the NRC to support its territorial authorities,
Northland Conservation Board, local Iwi and other local organisations
in keeping all GMOs out of the region (at the very least, until such
time as a truly strict liability regime is put in place and the risks
of GMOs are adequately identified and addressed).

Provide your name, postal address, email and telephone details (using
the submission form provided here or online at NRC)

More info:

GE FREE NORTHLAND In food & environment
Zelka Grammer 09 4322155 ((Whangarei)                  Martin Robinson
09 407 8650 (Kerikeri)