Urgent Call for Submissions to Auckland Council to Show Your Support for GE Free Auckland, Community Gardens and No Toxic Sprays etc

Hi Everyone,
In the next 5 days please send a submission to your local board or the main email address.
Please use the points below to add/ build off/ change/ cut /paste.
Each board also has policy to comment on which you can read on line or in local leaflets.
Give your location address / contact and also ask to be heard in support of the submission
Please specifically ask for advocacy, plan statements and funding to inform residents of the need for policy for GMO precaution and GE-free zones ( as recently declared by Albert Eden and Waitemata)
Your submissions must reach us by 4pm, Monday, 25 February 2013.
Have your say online or by post.

Submission to the Auckland Council – annual Plan 2013/14

Address (will be allow submission allocation local board)
Contact email/ number
I wish to be heard

Dear Auckland Council, and local board

This submission relates to the whole of Auckland and also supports the local board in key priority areas mentioned in the public documents (of  X, Y Z)
Additional local initiatives and also Council-wide plans should be added: 
I strongly support the community value of our GE free Zone status and 2012/2013
community-declared zones in Albert Eden, Waitemata and historically Waiheke, Waitakere the Eco City, Rodney, and Devonport.
Plans should have objectives for advocacy and funding for:
 – Public information for residents about declaring/ affirming a local GE-free zone
– Local board (and Auckland Council) Advocacy for GE-free sustainable future
2) The plans should also give financial and strategic support for: 
local community gardens,
farmers markets
sustainable community initiatives,(including information on Genetic Engineering)
local composting,
kids gardens,
transition towns,
safe cycling
 Focus on non-chemical weed management for healthier local communities 
Toxic sprays used by CCO Auckland Transport cannot be part of a sustainable local environment. 
– Berm management needs to be flexible and allow for community involvement and localisation for a mixed-approach. 
Use of glyphosate for weed management must be replaced by Auckland Transport as part of a community-based mixed strategy.
There must also be sufficient funds directed in the budget for this year for environmental protection- biosecurity work, pest animal and pest plant control, efforts to help stop Kauri crown rot disease (Phtyhopthora taxon agathis), and protection of our existing valuable GE free status.
The local board and Council must emphasise and fund in the plans work to help protect ecosystem services and important finite resources like first class soils and water.
Council must prioritize work that will help keep protect and enhance the quality of environment,  which is for both local residents/ ratepayers and is advantageous for clean, safe organic and low-pesticide food production, and for tourism.
Council procurement
The buy-local and buy-ethical philosophy needs to be underpinning sustainability and the content/outcomes for the annual and long term plans.
by local board and Auckland as a whole
Additional Submission Questions from the documents
– I do agree with more funding for community events.
– I agree with investing in parks and open space
– I am concerned vested interests and bias at Council is unbalancing economic thinking in the local interest, which must be addressed  I would then agree to the additional overseas trade mission budget, for ‘better planning and economic’ provisions
I wish to speak in support of this submission.
A )
In detail: GMO issue to be included in ALL planning process at Auckland Council:

Auckland Council is a full member of the Auckland/ Northland “INTER COUNCIL WORKING PARTY ON GMO RISK EVALUATION & MANAGEMENT OPTIONS”.

Ratepayers expect policy /wording  to be adopted in Planning documents by  Auckland Council which has contributed financially to the ICWP on GMOs collaborative commissioning of various independent GE documents, including Proposed Plan Change provisions, a new section 32 analysis on GMOs and a new legal opinion by Dr. Royden Somerville, QC.

On the 4th of February 2013 these important documents (reflecting the innovative work undertaken by Auckland Council and all Northland District Councils, to work to create an additional tier of protection against outdoor use of GMOs, on top of existing national legislation- that is grossly inadequate- for GMOs under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act) were publicly released.

This submission asks for democracy to be upheld and the majority-view of Auckland residents ( 2009 poll on unacceptable risk of GMOs) to be reflected by Auckland Council who must to now act on the sensible recommendations/ findings of the ICWP on GMOs.

Auckland Council – to meet community and local board expectations – needs to place a strong precautionary and prohibitive GE policy in the Auckland Council draft Unitary Plan, in keeping with the ICWP on GMOs recommended wording.

There is a failure at central government to properly amend the flawed HSNO Act, so it is critical that Auckland Council create an enforceable Regional Exclusion Zone for outdoor use of GMOs, and to continue to work collaboratively with Northland councils.

I ask Auckland Council to do this because of the serious risks GMO land use present to our biosecurity, unique biodiversity, primary producers like ourselves and the economy of the region.

Farmers, beekeepers, foresters and gardeners say NO to outdoor use of GMOs- please act on your duty of care and take local action to stop GMO land use and GMO aquaculture in Auckland region.

The Plans : at annual-, long-term- and Unitary- planning level must provide outright prohibition of all out door use of GMOs, at least until such time as a truly strict liability regime is put in place and the risks of GMOs are adequately identified and addressed.

B) In detail: Community wellbeing and development including for diverse communities

The social benefits of community gardens in New Zealand deserve more research. This could include the actual and potential roles of community gardens as education centres, economic incubators, recreational spaces, emergency centres and places for the delivery of support and development programmes for youth, the elderly, and new migrants.
Council plans must support the potential contributions of organic community gardens to urban ecological sustainability.  Data from North America strongly supports pressing on with growing more community gardens.
At this point in time, the main thing that seems to be preventing this from happening is not the lack of evidence of benefits, nor the lack of public desire to garden this way, but rather the slowness of Auckland Council and other municipalities to embrace and support community gardening as the source of multiple positive solutions to complex urban problems.
Katherine Smith


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