A lineup of Labour MPs has vowed to do everything it can to block legislation which if adopted could see the Hastings District lose the GM-free status the council historically bestowed last year on the area's food production chain.
The promise was reinforced yesterday with a visit to Hawke's Bay by Labour's Infrastructure and Environment caucus committee, including List MPs David Parker and Sue Moroney, and Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta.
They met with members of Pure Hawke's Bay, including pioneering commercial organic apple grower John Bostock, ahead of a parliamentary select committee report back on proposed changes in section 360D of the Resource Management Act Amendment Bill.
The changes would allow Government to dictate to regions what types of land use can occur in their territories and to override local community planning initiatives, and effectively the changes the HDC made to its own District Plan rules, prohibiting release and field trials of GM crops and animals in the area. It was the first council to make such rules.
Mr Parker said Mr Bostock and Pure HB strive to have New Zealand placed as a seller of high-value goods to the rest of the World, as it did with a GM free reputation, but if the Government overrides the local position, which was endorsed by the Environment Court, it would cost the area jobs.