PROJECTS / Genetically Modified Organisms - Palmerston North City
Managing the outdoor use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) can be challenging. We helped Palmerston North City Council do two things:
1. Understand the challenges around GMOs. As a result of investigating the challenges, the council is confident that their GMO policy is effective and can adapt to changes in GMO uses in the future.
2. Look into adding GMOs to the District Plan. We investigated and reported on whether the Council should include provisions in its District Plan.
In 2013, Perception Planning revised the Hazardous Substances provisions in the Palmerston North City District Plan. As part of that revision, we looked in detail at how GMOs are managed and regulated in New Zealand. Our investigation gave Palmerston North City councillors a clear understanding of GMO controls so they could decide how to address them in their District Plan. GMOs had not previously been a big issue for people living and working in Palmerston North, but it can be a complex and emotional topic. The council needed to be confident that their GMO policies could deal with any current and future GMO uses in the city.
We looked at how GMOs are dealt with under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), the Resource Management Act (RMA) and other legislation. Case studies helped us explore the challenges councils generally face when addressing GMOs in their district plans. We then analysed economic, social and environmental factors that may influence how GMOs are used and perceived in Palmerston North.
Staff and councillors at Palmerston North City Council now have a solid understanding of the issues and challenges around managing the outdoor use of GMOs, and have applied that information to a Palmerston North context. Consequently, the Council is now confident in its policy with regard to GMOs in the district, and can respond to any future changes in GMO circumstances in the City.