No, this isn’t about the Council’s representation review!

On Wednesday October 24th the Hastings Council will conduct an all-day (9:30a-4p) forum in the Assembly Room of the Opera House presenting all viewpoints on the issues surrounding Genetic Modification (GMOs) as they might affect Hawke’s Bay.

If you wish to attend this public forum, you must register here on the HDC website.

From the HDC media release:

“…guest speakers will cover topics including environmental, cultural, scientific, economic, marketing, horticultural and agricultural perspectives on Genetic Modification. The speakers will present information on GM but this meeting will not be a forum for open debate.

“Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule says ‘This is an extremely important subject for the whole of the country and particularly Hawke’s Bay, given the region’s reliance on agriculture for our current and future economic prosperity. It is imperative that this issue is put before the wider community to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to gain a better insight into the different viewpoints on GMO’s’”.

Good on the Hastings Council for responding constructively to the urgings of Pure Hawke’s Bay, a farmer-led coalition in Hawke’s Bay who believe our region should be kept GE Free.

Pure Hawke’s Bay recently commissioned a representative sample survey in the region on the GMO issue (conducted by research firm Colmar Brunton).

That survey found that 84% of respondents say “Hawke’s bay should remain a GE free food producing region”. The same percentage agree that “Being a GE free food region gives Hawke’s Bay food exports a competitive advantage”. And 79% believe being a GE free region would have no negative economic impact on Hawke’s Bay.

In fact, 73% of respondents believe GE free status allows HB food exporters to earn higher prices for their exports. And farmer members of Pure Hawke’s Bay have attested that is indeed the case in their experience.

Pure Hawke’s Bay is pressing the Hastings Council to include measures in its pending re-write of the District Plan that would protect the district’s current GE Free status. Hopefully HDC will find the forum convincing on that score.

At a time when the Regional Council is advocating a dam that would substantially expand dairying in Central Hawke’s Bay, and farm media are reporting significant use of GE feed for dairy cows in New Zealand, the issues involved for Hawke’s Bay are hardly speculative.

For more information and to learn precisely what GE Free advocates are asking of HDC, visit the Pure Hawke’s Bay website, or download this Pure HB Submission to the Council.

Tom Belford

Join the Conversation

5 Comments

  1. I am feeling very grouchy this morning and need to have a general vent – long overdue and will try to be brief !
    Firstly on behalf of the now silent many who sit and wring their hands in frustration, and here I include myself, I offer heartfelt thanks to all of you who are keeping up the good fight against the criminal indifference displayed endlessly by those who are in charge of how things are decided in this once fair land.Back in the 70’s as a Values Party supporter all of these issues were being aired all over the thinking world and we thought that hopefully the message would get through – but no – here we are decades later and all those dire predictions have become our reality. nobody listened.grrrrr!
    so this city girl born and bred moves to the glorious TukiTuki Valley and revels inthe beauty and peace. and learns that all is not well under the surface – eg. the river she loves to fish has turned into a polluted sewer.Q- why do we rural land dwellers go to the trouble and expense of installing eco-septic systems for our waste, yet upstream tons of poo are let loose because the town sewerage is non-compliant/inadequate for purpose ? and why do I maintain fencing along my river frontage to prevent stock from accessing the waterways, when so many neighbours blithely continue to graze the riverbanks willy-nilly including the river frontage that I try to protect ? and how does a super-expensive dam encouraging yet further polluting industry help reverse the already acknowledged and growing environmental degradation problem – rhetorical again ! this is a no-brainer – introduce GE breeding for those citizens who want to control these things and maybe one day ……….but I fear, frustratingly, not in my lifetime. sorry about the rave.keep up the good work – am too tired and still angry ! off to try have a nice day ! Rae Jager

  2. Having attended the meeting and had a bit of a look round when i returned home.
    Feb 2012 Monsanto forced out of UK this article here, and the company is even looking to liquidate their GMO crop facilities based in Germany, France, and the Czech Republic.
    None of this came up at the meeting.
    Dr William Rolleston presented dubious figures on behalf of Fed Farmers but when one looks at open letter to Rolleston here, it becomes very easy to see why Professor Jack Heinemann had far more credible data.
    Why is data on the 3 GM rams unable to be found. Open, transparent – Yeah Right!
    Surely HDC can see it is a path with pitfalls to blindly follow in the footsteps of UK, Germany, France, and the Czech Republic.

  3. Napier Mail landed complete with 1 page report and not a word of Professor Jack Heinemann and his much more believable data.
    Anyone reading the Napier Mail would see the subtle endorsement of Rolleston, it is almost as if Mr Fairfax has decreed ‘There will be no opposing views to ‘GMO is good.”
    Balanced article? – not a chance!

  4. what no-one (esp not the media) seems to have pointed out is that Rolleston was the chair of NZ Life Sciences Network – a pro-GE lobby group funded by Monsanto et al. so now, since he’s VP of the Feds, is it any wonder they are suddenly pro-GE?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *