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

Time for Northland Regional Council to support its territorial authorities and Auckland Council "super city" in keeping GMOs out of the region



Want to help to protect our existing valuable GE free
status from GE experiments and releases on our patch?

You can make a difference.

A hugely important meeting of the Northland Regional Council is being
held this Tuesday, 15 November at Kaikohe, where your councillors will
vote on a important GE agenda item.




27 July 2011 Northern Advocate


"North gathers GE free clout"

by Lindy Laird


Guest View as published today's 9 May 2011 Northern Advocate (p. 6), under the heading





Zelka Grammer

GE Free Northland chairwoman

9 May 2011


Cheers WDC for saying NO to GE.

Whangarei councillors recently made history by unanimously rejected the outdoor use of genetically engineered crops and animals in Whangarei District.

WDC is now asking other Northland councils to join in a collaborative plan change to ban all GMOs in our region.

This is a wise move considering that a big multinational like Monsanto or Crown Research Institutes can apply for GE experiments or releases on our patch, without being liable for any harm caused.

After lobbying central government for over 7 years to fix the flaws and gaps in the national minimal legislation that covers GE, local councils have finally had enough and are saying no to GE.

Deformed GE salmon, blends of transgenic animals (including human genes) , GE trees and GE crops that contain insecticide in every cell and gene are the types of experiments Council wants to ban locally to protect our biosecurity, farmers, rural communities and public health.

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) approved experiments with GM cattle resulting in high mortality rates and gross deformities. Six-month-old calves who appeared "normal" unexpectedly died when their internal organs ruptured.

NO to Genetic Engineering

NO to Genetic Engineering

("Our Town" column)


Whangarei Mayor Morris Cutforth

in the Whangarei Report, Thursday 28 April 2011


A constant theme of my mayoralty is that Council needs to listen to the people. A prime example of the will of the people making itself felt is over the controversial issue of genetic engineering.

GE is the 'most-submitted' issue WDC has ever had, attracting over 7,000 submissions of which around 90% were in favour of ensuring Whangarei District remains GE free. Council has heard what people have said and supported it. Last week we voted unanimously to investigate regulating genetically modified organisms through the District Plan in conjunction with other councils in Northland and Auckland. This will most likely mean that releases of GMOs will be prohibited and resource consents will be needed for GE trials in Northland and Auckland.

I am delighted that I have come to Council at this epic point in an eight year journey, where in essence we are saying 'no!' to genetic engineering. Before I was elected to Council I didn't have a strong view one way or the other about GE, but since I have become more involved I have met many people who are passionate about it. After listening to their stories about what can go wrong - often at a very real and personal level - I can understand their passion and I am glad we are able to do something practical at last. And just as importantly, Whangarei and Northland are being seen as taking the lead in an important national and international issue.

Cheers for the WDC- saying NO to GE

Cheers for the WDC- saying NO to GE

           Whangarei councillors have unanimously, and historically, rejected the outdoor use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Whangarei District.  WDC is asking other Northland councils to join in a collaborative plan change, to ban all GMOs in our region (a wise move considering that at any moment, a big multinational like Monsanto or Crown Research Institutes can apply for GE experiments or releases on our patch, without being liable for harm caused).



Steps closer to a GMO ban



Denise Piper


Cheers and claps supported Whangarei district councillors as they made a move to ban genetically modified organisms in the district.

At an environment committee meeting last Wednesday councillors unanimously voted to investigate regulating GMOs through the district plan.

The regulation is likely to prohibit releases of GMOs to the environment and requiring resource consents for GE trials.

Whangarei is the first council to agree to regulation but it hopes it will be joined by other councils in Northland and Auckland who are part of the Inter-council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management Options.

That would mean the costs can be shared. But councillor Crichton Christie says the council will go it alone if necessary.

"This has been eight years in the making. At the end of the day this is about managing the risk that this council has over genetic engineering – it is not about whether you agree with GE or not," he says.

"It would be nice if the other councils came with us but if not we still have to manage the risk."

Environment Minister Nick Smith has confirmed the costs of environmental damage from a GMO release gone wrong could rest with the council and neighbouring property owners.




letters to editor:




by Denise Piper

l4 April 2011


A grassroots movement against Genetically Modified Organisms could start in Northland, activists say.

Councils can now restrict or prevent the outdoor use of Genetically Modified Organisms under the Resource Management Act.

Clarification from Environment Minister Nick Smith means GMOs could be banned entirely if the community wants.

Previously councils were warned that if they got involved in controlling the organisms they could assume some of the liability for any future problems caused by GMOs.

The Northland Regional and Whangarei District Councils are part of an Inter Council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation & Management Options.

The Working Party has now commissioned a report to identify the optimal wording for any rules in the council's District Plans or Regional Policy Statements.

Working Party Chairman Dr. Kerry Grundy will be giving Whangarei councillors more information at their Environment Committee meeting tomorrow.

GE Free Northland spokeswoman Zelka Grammer says there is an opportunity for Whangarei and Northland to lead the rest of the country agains GMOs- the same way New Zealand's nuclear free movement started at a community level.

The situation in Japan shows that there is are damn good reasons why there's prohibition of nuclear reactors and I would say there's damn good reasons to prohibit GMOs.


GE FREE NORTHLAND (in food and environment) Annual General Meeting


Monday, l4 March 2011-  at 7pm

Venue:  Eco Solutions, 3a Bank St, Whangarei

(opposite the Whangarei bus depot & the Grand Hotel)


Have your Say: Northland Regional Council "New Regional Policy Statement Discussion Document 2010"




Northland Regional Council "New Regional Policy Statement Discussion Document 2010"

(part of the NRC "Regional Policy Statement" Review) 25 November 2010

The Northland Regional Council is developing a new Regional Policy Statement (RPS), which happens once every ten years. The NRC has just released its "New RPS Discussion Document 2010" (you can obtain a hard copy by ringing or emailing the council and have your say to help shape Northland’s future).

The NRC says it wants to "improve the management of Northland’s natural and physical resources (land, water, air, soil, minerals, energy, all plants and animals, and all built structures)" but, if we want to ensure we get sound environmental provisions in our RPS, that means we have to engage and participate right now in order to influence the outcome.

This is especially necessary as we have already identified inaccurate and misleading content in the "Biodiversity/Ecosystems" section of the "New RPS Discussion Document 2010", specifically about GE/GMOs and the important liability issue.

GE Free Northland has done a detailed analysis of this and put together some key points on the GE issue to make it easy for submittors to give their feedback to the NRC regarding Genetically Modified Organisms, supporting a strong prohibitive provision in the RPS. This is a great opportunity to put forward a good case for sound environmental, economic and biosecurity outcomes in the Regional Policy Statement, which then the Northland territorial authorities will have to give effect to through their District plans.


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