GE Free Northland

First Stake in the Ground to Keep Hastings GM Free


A group of Hawke’s Bay food producers have launched a campaign to keep Hastings GMO Free as the Hastings Council prepares to go head to head with Federated Farmers and the Government.

Pure Hawke’s Bay today put its first stake in the ground, putting up billboards around the region to raise awareness and gain support in the fight to keep Hastings GMO Free.

Pure Hawke’s Bay President, and sheep and beef farmer Bruno Chambers says having a GMO Free region creates more economic and marketing opportunities.

“It means as Hastings producers we can tell buyers and customers that produce grown in our fields is officially GMO Free. If we can’t claim this, we loose our competitive global advantage. We need to tell the GM Free story and officially show the world that we grow produce naturally.

“It adds more value to our exports and creates significant economic benefits for Hawke’s Bay.”

Last year, backed by leading Hawke’s Bay food producers, Hastings District Council became the first in New Zealand to secure the territory’s GM Free food producer status under the local plan.

While this initiative enjoys overall support from producers and the wider community, Federated Farmers is challenging the Hastings decision in the Environment Court.

As well as this, the councils move is also threatened by proposed changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA), which would see the government take away councils powers to establish GM Free Zones.

GE: it’s our right to decide

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE from GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association Aotearoa NZ
For immediate release 12 February 2016

Communities should have the right to decide whether or not genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are released or field-trialled in their regions and, if so, whether any conditions should be placed on them, say the Soil & Health Association and GE Free Northland.

The two organisations again joined forces with Taitokerau mana whenua and others in court this week, responding to another case on the GMO issue brought by Federated Farmers, this time to the High Court in Whangarei. The judge’s decision is expected within a month.

GE Free Northland July 2015 PUBLIC APPEAL FOR FUNDS

                                  July 2015
Help protect our democratic right to be GE-free!

One of the most important Environment Court decisions this year is the finding that councils can control the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under the Resource Management Act.
We won in the Environment Court against Federated Farmers of NZ.  
But Federated Farmers has now lodged an appeal in the High Court, attempting to overturn this valuable decision.  Your donation now will help us prevail in the High Court against Federated Farmers latest vexatious appeal (and help stop GE trees).

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




Media release from GE FREE Northland...and the Soil & Health Association NZ

13 June 2015

One of the most important Environment Court decisions this year is the finding that councils can control the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under the Resource Management Act.

GE Free Northland, along with Taitokerau mana whenua and New Zealand’s oldest organic organisation (the Soil & Health Association), supported the Whangarei District Council in a successful defence of the right of local authorities to manage the use of GMOs in their regions, after Federated Farmers sought a ruling that Northland Regional Council had acted outside the law in taking this approach.

Since comprehensively losing the appeal (which it initiated) on all points of law, Federated Farmers has now filed an appeal against the Environment Court’s decision with the High Court.

In May, Principal Environment Court Judge L. Newhook found that there is jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act for regional councils to make planning decisions about the outdoor use of GMOs in their regions.

“Soil & Health was delighted to have our view confirmed by Judge Newhook,” said Marion Thomson, co-chair of Soil & Health.  “We’re disappointed, however, that an organisation that supposedly represents farmers has decided to appeal the decision.  Why does Federated Farmers want to deny Northlanders the right to manage what happens in their own region? Is there an application in the wings for a GE field trial or GMO release in Northland?”

GE or not GE? Environment Court win- A victory for democracy

GE or not GE? A victory for democracy

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Zealanders can take heart that it is now confirmed that regional councils have the right to make planning decisions about the outdoor use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their regions. Environment Court Judge Newhook determined yesterday that there is jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act for regional councils to make provision for GMOs through regional policy statements and plans.
“We welcome this as a victory for sound resource management,” said Marion Thomson, co-chair of the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand. “The decision confirms our view that the RMA allows local bodies to manage any potential use of GMOs as part of their land use (resource management) planning function.”
The case was brought by Federated Farmers of NZ, who had lodged an appeal with the Environment Court opposing precautionary provisions for GMOs in the Proposed Northland Regional Policy Statement. Soil & Health and GE Free Northland coordinated a group of 12 other interested parties in support of Whangarei District Council and Northland Regional Council in the Environment Court last month.
As a starting point, Federated Farmers challenged whether there is jurisdiction for local authorities to make provisions for the management of the outdoor use of GMOs under the RMA. That challenge has now been rejected by the Environment Court.


GE Free Northland Press Release

2 July 2014

GE FREE Northland welcomes the news that Far North District Council and Whangarei District Council voted unanimously last week to jointly publicly notify the GMO Plan Change to ban all GMO releases and make any EPA approved outdoor GE experiments/ field trials a Discretionary activity (subject to additional local requirements that the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act does not require).

"This process is in keeping with the proposed collaborative GMO Plan change with Auckland Council, who has already begun the process through the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan," said Martin Robinson, spokesman for GE Free Northland.


GE FREE NZ Northland

Northland communities want stricter GE controls

GE FREE NORTHLAND in food and environment

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