Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO

This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of Wrightson (1996-2004) was appointed the Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), and he […]

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Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start

On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change. Frankly, the events were a bit of a shambles. The Government officials clearly weren’t expecting […]

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Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer

At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides malathion and diazinon, both used in New Zealand. All three will be even more dangerous […]

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Genetically engineered trees are an international concern

Recently, the Brazilian government was asked to approve commercial plantations of genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus trees. Worldwide protests were held to pressure the Brazilian government to turn them down, including here in Wellington. I went with protestors to the Brazillian Embassy to raise our concerns, and was graciously invited into the Ambassador’s office (pictured above). I […]

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Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility

Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at our borders to stop new pest incursions, but prevention, eradication and control programs nationally, regionally, […]

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Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture

Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming systems compatible with our markets seems to be beyond Federated Farmers current voice. Earlier this […]

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Swedes Spray and Southland

Some farming leaders and agricultural companies in New Zealand seem hell bent on maintaining a slide into the lowest commodity level of production, threatening both our marketing reputation and the health and safety of stock and consumers alike. The latest casualties from this unsustainable kind of farming are several hundred stock, mainly dairy cows, that […]

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Is Key misrepresenting us over Five-Eyes?

Over the weekend, American investigative journalist and author Jeremy Scahill was interviewed on TV3’s ‘The Nation’ programme. Jeremy Scahill is the National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and the author of the international bestseller ‘Blackwater’. His latest book, ‘Dirty Wars’, raises questions about America’s war on terror, including the use of drones. In the […]

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Whose tree is it? Whose farm is it?

Whose tree is it? Whose farm is it? The announcement of the sale of Carter Holt Harvey’s pulp and paper and packaging businesses to Japanese interests, consolidates New Zealand’s forestry interests into foreign ownership. Over 70% of plantation forests are already owned by overseas interests and now all the major forest products processors are foreign […]

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Climate change report should signal change in forestry species and management

This week saw the release of the IPCC report pointing to significant trends in climatic effects on New Zealand farming and forestry. One trend was that climate change is expected to increase the number of days with very high and extreme fire weather. This has equally severe implications for forestry as we know it in […]

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Pesticide residues in many foods – organic is the answer

Yesterday, the agri-chemical industry’s New Zealand association Agcarm tried to spin its way out of the fact that almost all of about 600 samples analysed in Safe Food Campaign’s Dirty Dozen 2013 list contained pesticide residues. The Dirty Dozen Food in New Zealand more likely to contain pesticide residues ranked according to number of pesticides […]

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Precautionary approach to GE in the Bay of Plenty?

I had a visitor this week from the USA. Phillip Geertson called into New Zealand to describe to me in detail how genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa (lucerne) had effectively contaminated all conventional alfalfa growing areas in the United States, and why we should be concerned about any further imports of alfalfa seed here. Phillip’s company, […]

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Govt risking innovation & business in the name of security

This week I’ve been blogging about the TICS bill, the Government’s change to the Telecommunications Act to require telecommunication firms to assist intelligence agencies in intercepting and decrypting phone calls, text messages and emails. As well as the privacy concerns about this bill, one of the big issues is the risk for future job creation […]

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Next step in the fight against a surveillance state – the TICS bill

The Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill, otherwise known as the TICS bill, is an accompanying bill to the GCSB legislation that passed last month. In a nutshell, this bill forces communications providers to provide ‘lawful intercept’ capabilities so that the GCSB, SIS and Police can access New Zealanders’ communications. It also gives the GCSB […]

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Government seems set on GE contamination path

This weekend, Minister for the Environment Amy Adams followed through with an earlier threat to initiate legislative changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA), which include removing councils’ ability to control genetically modified organisms through their local plans. This is legislation to allow contamination and community conflict. It must be stopped! Councils including Bay of […]

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FCV exemptions are very fishy

The exemptions given to tuna fishers and Iwi from the Foreign Chartered Vessel (FCV) legislation currently in front of Parliament are appalling and will undermine this otherwise worthy legislation. The Green Party does not agree with any exemptions that mean slave ships continue to operate in our waters beyond the already generous time agreed for […]

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Research supports organic farming solution to pesticide residues

University of Otago researchers have come to the same conclusion as the Green Party regarding pesticide use. In a statement released today, researchers concluded, “We can minimise the environmental impact of farming by going towards organic farming.” This was the result of a study published in the latest Environmental Pollution journal which found agricultural chemical […]

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Fish habitat protection and commercial catch limits are needed to protect families’ snapper catch

Current fisheries discussion documents open for submission include how the snapper fishery for east Northland and the Hauraki Gulf–Bay of Plenty is to be divided among customary, recreational and commercial fishers. While usefully leaving customary take at its current levels, the remaining catch allowance has been suggested to be reduced for recreational fishers, at a […]

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Chemicals remain in our foods

The Environmental Protection Authority is effectively the Chemical Promotions Authority with its decision yesterday allowing continued use of all organophosphate (OP) and pesticides currently used in New Zealand, although safer alternatives exist. Although some will be phased out between 2 and 15 years, the only banned OP chemicals are those no longer in use. Organophosphates […]

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It’s time to submit against spying

John Key may be comfortable with many things but we are not comfortable; we are not comfortable with, among many things, John Key’s pandering to the USA’s spymasters, and the wholesale spying on New Zealanders, either already happening or intended to, and assisted by the law changes in front of Parliament now; the GCSB and Telco Interception Bills.

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