Home' Whangarei Leader : March 1st 2011 Contents 14 WHANGAREI LEADER, MARCH 1, 2011
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New use for old building
A group of artists has spent time in
an empty industrial site in
Whangarei and responded through
sculpture, moving image, book
works, text, photography, dance and
Their exhibition opens today in
the Old Library Arts Centre, Rust
Ave. Ellie Smith, one of the artists
involved in the project, says: We
have all seen the bodies of once
bustling dairy companies, hospitals,
freezing works and movie theatres
as we drive through our towns. They
stand empty and crumbling on the
side of the road or are refitted and
reinvented for a new use.''
The old trades block on North-
Tec's Raumanga campus is typical
of one of these buildings. It is here
that the artists -- Lisa Clunie, Mur-
ray Gibbs, Faith McManus, Lindsay
Marks, Ellie Smith, Ross Smith,
Kura Te Waru-Rewiri and Cathy
Tuato'o Ross -- mustered together
their creativity to produce the works
in the exhibition titled The Ghost
and the Machine.
The exhibition runs until March
16, Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm.
Secret trial locations a
worry for GE free group
By ZELKA GRAMMER
GE Free Northland
At this tragic time in New Zea-
land, with Christchurch subjected
to further earthquakes and loss of
life, priorities have shifted. And
yet, just as Rural Women NZ has
called for its members to mobilise
to assist those in need, the rural
sector must stay strong to support
New Zealand's economy.
Therefore any threat to our
biosecurity or primary producers,
the backbone of the economy,
must be anticipated and avoided.
Forestry Stewardship Council
certification enables Northland's
forests to have access to key
markets and the ability to obtain
premiums for our trees. Genetic
engineering of trees -- prohibited
by the stewardship council in
council certified forests due to the
risks to our environment and
biosecurity -- presents a very real
A prestigious global certifi-
cation body, the stewardship
council only endorses truly
sustainable forestry practices and
its position on GE is very clear:
We do not allow genetic engineer-
ing of trees.
The Environmental Risk Man-
agement Authority has rubber-
stamped yet another risky GE
application for 4000 GE pine
trees. The authority's approval
was given to Scion, a Crown
research institute, despite an
embarrassing history of approving
completely unproductive GE
experiments that do not benefit us
in any way.
Officially known as New Zea-
land Forest Research Institute,
Scion has in the past been in
breach of authority rules during a
previous GE experiment at Roto-
I guess all you have to do these
days is change the name of your
organisation and carry on with
the same shoddy practices while
the authority looks the other way.
The authority's disregard for
the concerns expressed in the sub-
mission by Environment Bay of
Plenty Regional Council is offens-
ive but not surprising.
There is widespread concern
that Scion will not honour even
the minimal conditions set by the
risk management authority.
Scion has asked to have secret
GE pine locations.
Submitters opposing Scion's
application contested this and
other aspects of the application.
acknowledged risks -- including
risks to Forestry Stewardship
Council certified foresters, as
recognised by the applicant.
Should a forester believe the
controls placed by ERMA
improperly reflect the risks the
trial poses to his/her business,
then knowing the location of the
trial will allow him/her to take
There is concern in Northland
about the proposal by Scion to
experiment with 4000 GE pine
trees outdoors. The Northland
Conservation Board and Bay of
Plenty Regional Council joined
hundreds of other Submitters
opposing this risky application.
Part of the threat from GE pine
trees comes from the dangers of
transgenic pollution from GE pine
Another risk is lowered pro-
ductivity from toppling and snap-
ping of pines that already are
prone to that problem.
GE pines could also cost a
neighbouring forester or property
owner their hard won Forestry
Stewardship Council certification.
The council has identified other
scientific concerns including
asexual transfer of genes from
GMOs with antibiotic resistance
to pathogenic micro-organisms,
increased resistance of target
insect pests, reduced adaptability
to environmental stresses,
increased weediness or invasiven-
ess in GMO trees with new
features and the spread of herbi-
cide resistance genes.
These hazards and the
uncertainties about them are the
reason for the prohibition of the
use of GMOs in stewardship coun-
cil certified forests.
The decision means ERMA has
initially granted Scion permission
for the trees at its Rotorua site
but also stated Scion could apply
for alternative and secret sites if
It is an alarming development
that Crown institutes like Scion
and AgResearch are applying for
both GE field trials and con-
ditional release of transgenic
animals to undisclosed locations.
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