Proposed National Environmental Standard could wipe the right of communities to stop GE

The National Government is attempting to remove the right of communities such as Northland, Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty and their councils from controlling the release of genetically engineered trees in their regions.

“The proposed National Environmental Standard for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) aims to replace existing plan rules for many plantation forestry activities,” Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said.

“Increasing numbers of councils, in response to their ratepayers and businesses, are including precautionary provisions or controls for GE in their Resource Management Act (RMA) plans, but with this sleight of hand, the Government is taking away communities’ right of protection.

“Councils such as those in Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, and Northland have recognised the need for local controls over GE, and the Environment Court has already supported the inclusion of a local precautionary approach in RMA plans.

“Being GE free is part of our New Zealand clean, green brand, and gives us a unique competitive edge in international markets.

“A National Environment Standard (NES) should set effective bottom lines, but this NES could still allow GE and also sedimentation from some land disturbance, that will continue to wreck fisheries habitats and spawning grounds.

“GE trees have been promoted heavily by the Forest Research Institute - trading as Scion - often in partnership with international tree giant ArborGen who have only ever done minimal environmental effects research, and which has been ridiculed internationally.

“The technology is not proven as safe or beneficial. Councils must be able to exercise precaution,” Mr Browning said.

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

NZ needs strong protection against water privatisation

New Zealanders deserve strong protection against the future privatisation of water assets, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Nature missing in RMA reform

The Government has missed a crucial opportunity to redesign the resource management system with climate and nature at its heart. 
Read More

Story

Report shows reducing actual farming emissions vital

Evidence shows that relying on offsets to reduce agriculture’s impact on the climate will not work, the Green Party says.
Read More

Story

Budget 2022: Greens call for urgency with nature-first climate investments

Budget 2022 shows progress on conservation commitments in the Green Party’s cooperation agreement Green Party achievements in the last Government ...
Read More

Story

Nature needs us to act right now

The Green Party welcomes the release of the implementation plan for Te Mana o te Taiao Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and calls on the ...
Read More

Story

Urgent action needed to bring natural environment back from the brink

The release today of Environment Aotearoa 2022 is a sobering reminder of what is at stake if the Government does not step up and take urgent action...
Read More