All articles

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.

Council Vote Leaves Northlanders Feeling Betrayed



Council Vote Leaves Northlanders Feeling Betrayed

Pipped at the Post - 'GE Forbidden Fruit' Developers beaten to market

GE FREE NZ Media Release


Pipped at the Post - 'GE Forbidden Fruit' Developers beaten to market

Northland communities urge Northland Regional Council to protect the region's existing GE Free status


GE Free Northland
2 November 2018 Media Release
Gene edited organisms are GMOs and are unacceptable in Northland
Northland communities urge Northland Regional Council to protect the region's valuable GE free status

More than one hundred submissions (lodged in response to the Northland Regional Council's proposed new Regional Plan) strongly back alignment with Auckland and Northland District Council plans that already contain provisions and policies created for the purpose of protectiing the Northern peninsula's valuable GE-Free status. 


GMO-free policy not in North's draft air, water, soil, coast plan






There could be a small break in the ring fence meant to keep genetically modified organisms out of Northland's environment and primary sector.

The decision has groups who vehemently fought for 10 years for that GMO-proof fence now criticising the Northland Regional Council's decision to exclude its strong Regional Policy Statement (RPS) on GMOs from its proposed Regional Plan.

A year after no-to-GMO policies became operational in Whangārei and Far North Districts' and NRC legislation, the NRC failed to copy over its stance to its new environment plan.

The overarching Regional Plan — the draft of which received 360 submissions overall — will encompass, replace and update three outdated water and soil, air and coastal plans. More than 100 of those submissions referred to the GMOs subject.

Gene editing is unacceptable


"Gene editing is unacceptable"  22 October 2018 NZ Farmers Weekly
by Hawke's Bay primary producers/ exporters
Bruno Chambers, David Cranwell, Phyllis Tinchinin and John Bostock
Syndicate content