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GM stance deepens divisions

"GM stance deepens divisions" 
by Jamie Ball
STRAIGHT FURROW   10 September 2013     (front page)

Federated Farmers of NZ is "clearly out of touch with markets" in their opposition to councils' plans to introduce tighter regulation for genetically modified organisms, says Pure Hawke's Bay (PHB) spokesman Bruno Chambers.

Mr. Chambers said the PHB coalition of regional food producers seeking to improve the region's global reputation for safe, sustainable, high quality food production had proposed securing GM free food producer status through local authority planning, for l0 years.

"We had a meeting with the President, Bruce Wills, who said that Federated Farmers would not stand in the way of the Pure Hawke's Bay initiative, so it surprises me that Federated Farmers are taking the position they have."

"They are basically out of touch with the markets. NZ relies on premium markets- our future is not with low-price commodity markets," he said.

Environment Minister Amy Adams recently announced that hazardous substances and new organisms were comprehensively regulated on a national basis and councils should not use the Resource Management Act (RMA) to set up their own independent regulatory frameworks.

However, like some other regions, the Hawke's Bay coalition believes that the Environmental Protection Authority has no mandate to protect regions, regional rands or regional returns.

Mr. Chambers said it was a pity that the federation's representative on the subject, Wililam Rolleston, was entrenched in an ideological position.

new report: An overview of genetic modification in New Zealand 1973-2013: the first forty years

new report: An overview of genetic modification in New Zealand 1973-2013: the first forty years 

excellent new report/ expose (from the McGuiness Institute in Wellington) of how the NZ government has failed to implement many of the key useful recommendations from the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification
Download this report here:

http://apo.org.au/research/overview-genetic-modification-new-zealand-1973-2013-first-forty-years

An overview of genetic modification in New Zealand 1973-2013: the first forty years
Wendy McGuinness, Renata Mokena-Lodge | McGuinness Institute
29 August, 2013

An overview of genetic modification in New Zealand 1973-2013: the first forty years
29 August 2013

This report argues that strategically, New Zealand is no further ahead on public policy regarding outdoor use of GMOs than it was when the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification reported its findings in 2001.

Govt coalition partners reject RMA proposal

www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11123339

 

Govt coalition partners reject RMA proposal

By Isaac Davison @Isaac_Davison

Sep 12, 2013  NZ HERALD
National had the support of Act for the bill, which is still being drafted, but needed one more vote to get it over the line. Photo / Getty Images
  
National had the support of Act for the bill, which is still being drafted, but needed one more vote to get it over the line. Photo / Getty Images

Prime Minister John Key has underlined the importance of speeding up building consents to make homes more affordable after the Government's major reforms of the Resource Management Act hit a roadblock.

Mr Key admitted the proposed RMA legislation would need to be changed after National's support parties United Future and the Maori Party made a rare, joint statement of opposition to the reforms.

National had the support of Act for the bill, which is still being drafted, but needed one more vote to get it over the line.

RMA changes strike a rock

http://community.scoop.co.nz/2013/09/maori-party-united-future-rma-changes-strike-a-rock/

 

Māori Party, United Future: RMA changes strike a rock

Press Release – Joint Media Statement

The Mori Party and United Future have decided that they cannot support the governments latest proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, and have written to Environment Minister Amy Adams to outline their concerns.EMBARGOED UNTIL 10:00 am, WEDNESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2013
11 September 2013

RMA changes strike a rock

The Māori Party and United Future have decided that they cannot support the government’s latest proposed changes to the Resource Management Act, and have written to Environment Minister Amy Adams to outline their concerns.

“The changes do far more than rebalance the Act to make consenting procedures more efficient. We say the changes to remove emphasis on the ‘maintenance and enhancement of the quality of the environment’ fundamentally rewrite the Act and put a spanner in the works of the legal system, that will take years of litigation to fix up,” said Tariana Turia and Peter Dunne.

“The Resource Management Act was designed to ensure that our use of natural resources is sustainable. Changes to Part Two, which enshrine the driving principles, undermine the whole purpose of the Act,” said Mrs Turia.

RMA changes threaten fight against GMOs


"RMA changes threaten fight against GMOs"

9 July 2013  Northern Advocate


by Lindy Laird
Northland individuals, groups and authorities who have fought to protect their backyard from GMO threats may yet find they have won a battle but lost the war if the Resource Management Act (RMA) is changed.

Environment Minister Amy Adam came out recently in support of changes to the RMA that could exclude local government having a role in managing GMO (genetically modified organism) risks. Her comments drew fire from the Auckland and Northland-wide Inter-council Working Party on GMO Risk Evaluation and Management. Other groups have said that in threatening to shut down local authorities' efforts to protect their territory, Ms Adams was undermining local democracy.


Inter-council Working Party convenor and Whangarei District Council Futures Planning manager Kerry Grundy said although the Government holds that GMOs were most appropriately controlled under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms ACT (HSNO), local authorities were still entitled to plan their own cover, ``provided that this action meets the relevant requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991.''


Dr Grundy said should the RMA be amended, more pressure would come on the national regulator, the Environmental Protection Authority, to take into account local government controls on GMOs.

Northland communities want stricter GE controls

GE FREE NORTHLAND in food and environment

Communities want 'stricter' GE controls

hurrah for Lawrence Yule, President of Local Government NZ and Mayor of Hastings  District Council, and Mayor Phil Halse of Whangarei District Council, standing up for democracy...the rights of local existing non GM farmers and other ratepayers

(link to Lois Williams RADIO NZ piece that ran last Friday and on Monday morning- brilliant comments by our Deputy Mayor Phil Halse, telling rookie Minister "for" the Environment Amy Adams to pull her head in and have a wee chat to former Minister Nick Smith!

GE Free Northland putting out a Press Release later today, praising the work of our local councils to create an additional tier of protection against the risks of outdoor use of GMOs (on top of what the HSNO Act requires).

www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/138819/communities-want-%27stricter%27-ge-controls

Communities want 'stricter' GE controls

Updated at 9:59 pm on 28 June 2013

Local Government New Zealand says communities are asking for stricter controls on genetically-engineered material than those set by central government.

Lawrence Yule.

Lawrence Yule.

RNZ

Environment Minister Amy Adams believes the Government's controls on genetically-modified trials and releases are strict enough and said she will change the law to stop councils restricting the growing of genetically-engineered crops and animals in their districts.

Local Government New Zealand president Lawrence Yule said on Friday that councils have taken those steps because many people want a more precautionary approach than central government.

GE CONTROLS NEED STRENGTHENING, NOT SLASHING

GE controls need strengthening, not slashing

The Green Party is calling for Environment Minister Amy Adams to back off from her threats to strip councils of their power to regulate for genetic engineering in their communities.

The New Zealand Herald today reported that the Minister is investigating how to change the law to stop councils from putting in place controls on genetic engineering (GE) in their communities.

“These councils have established that our current regulations don’t adequately cover them or farmers in the event of a GE contamination and they need to step in and provide those protections,” said Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“So what is this Government’s response? Same as usual, change the law to take away local democracy.

“The controls that councils are putting in pace would place the responsibility, accountability, and liability on the person or company growing the crops, which is where it should be.

“This is how nuclear-free New Zealand started, with local councils taking the stand their community wanted them to take and that is a stance that the whole country is very proud of now.

“This Government wants to strip local councils of their ability to regulate what happens in their own regions.

“Without adequate regulation from central government the burden of risk for GE is placed entirely in the wrong place; on GE-free farmers whose crops have been contaminated from neighbouring GE farms, and on the councils themselves.

“It’s entirely rational for a council to ask GE growers to put aside resources to pay for any crop contamination, and to publically notify an application to release GE crops. Farmers have a right to know if their neighbours are going to be using GE, and ratepayers shouldn’t have to pay for contamination or liability costs.

Tougher GE rules likely by Christmas

www.northernadvocate.co.nz/news/tougher-ge-rules-likely-by-christmas/1904336/

Tougher GE rules likely by Christmas

 

 

 

The Far North and Whangarei District Councils have decided to investigate plan changes enabling them to regulate the use of GMOs after massive protest against it. Michael Cunningham

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