GE advocates back iwi stance

The regional council's removal of a precautionary GE provision from their regional policy statement is undemocratic and inappropriate, organic advocates say.

GE Free Northland applauded Tai Tokerau Iwi authorities' strong opposition to genetically modified organisms last week and say the public wants to hold genetically modified organism users accountable for the potential harm they cause and councils to have a strong role in regulating genetically modified organisms.

GE Free Northland says many submitters to the regional council's regional policy statement review have asked for some type of a prohibitive GE policy, similar to the wording in the 2004/14 and 2006/16 NRC Long Term Council Community Plan. Submissions closed on Monday.

"We share the concerns of Tai Tokerau Iwi authorities about the flawed methodology used by NRC RPS Review staff and false conclusions reached by the NRC Regional Policy Committee, as a result of the deeply flawed section 32 analysis on GMOs," GE Free Northland spokesman Marty Robinson said in a release last week.

"The NRC promised, after weakening the strong precautionary GE policy in our 10 Year Community Plan 2006/16 against the wishes of ratepayers and territorial authorities, to include a GE provision in the Proposed RPS."

The initial proposal for a precautionary GE provision in the proposed regional policy statement received the largest number of submissions from Northlanders - of any issue raised in the NRC RPS Review to date - supporting what NRC proposed.

"NRC removal of the precautionary GE provision from the NRC Proposed RPS at this stage, having made a number of assurances that this policy would be included, is undemocratic and inappropriate," Mr Robinson says.

Northern News