INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kedgley Concerned ERMA Pressuring Maori Committee

Published: Thu 14 Sep 2000 04:41 PM
Green MP Sue Kedgley said she was concerned to learn that the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) was applying pressure on its Maori Advisory Committee to back out of a legal challenge it had joined against an ERMA decision.
ERMA's Maori Advisory Committee has joined a high court action against ERMA's decision last month to allow copies of human genes to be inserted into a flock of transgenic cattle. The Maori Committee advised the decision should be deferred pending the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification and warned that approving the application may breach the Treaty of Waitangi.
Sue Kedgley said following discussions with a member of the Maori committee she believed ERMA was applying pressure for the committee to back out of the court challenge.
Ms Kedgley said the situation was disgraceful. "The Maori Committee has every right to join legal action against ERMA given that their very real cultural concerns were completely ignored in this instance," she said.
"The decision to approve these transgenic cattle is extremely controversial for all New Zealanders, and Maori in particular. ERMA have handled this issue very poorly. If they are happy that the process they followed was legitimate then they should be comfortable with the legal challenge," said Ms Kedgley.

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