A regional GM Free branding strategy to benefit Hawke’s Bay growers and exporters requires certainty – certainty that there won’t be GM food or feed releases.

We don’t have that security right now. The laws administered by central government only allow for case-by-case assessment as applications for release come forward. That means the region’s GM Free status could change from one month to the next.

This is why Hawke’s Bay councils need to use their powers under the RMA to formalise the region’s GM Free status.

The good news is that they won’t be starting from scratch.


A working party of councils in Northland and Auckland have done most of the work needed to identify how councils can protect their territories from outdoor GMO activities.

Hawke’s Bay councils can draw upon this work to secure the Bay’s GM Free food producer status.

The latest documents in this process are documents released in January this year setting out how district councils can prohibit GM releases and make field trials discretionary under the district plan. This is laid out in the following reports:

Previous work commissioned by the Auckland and Northland councils that has led to the recommendations above includes:

Other useful documents include these progress reports from the Intercouncil Working Party:


Comments are closed.