Resource Management Act 1991

The extent of the ability of councils to control genetically modified organisms under the RMA has been the subject of debate. A number of councils are considering including provisions in RMA policy statements and plans  relating to activities involving GMOs. 2386

While the RMA is potentially broad enough in scope to allow councils to regulate GMOs, the question is whether the introduction of the HSNO Act in 1996 impliedly repealed or restricted the RMA so as to prevent the management of GMOs under the RMA. That issue has not yet been tested before the courts. 2387

Any regional or district council who wishes to include objectives, policies, methods or rules addressing GMOS in a regional policy statement or regional or district plan will need to ensure the provisions satisfy section 32 of the RMA.

The Fifth National Government proposed amendments to the RMA to prevent councils including provisions in RMA policy statements and plans to regulate activities involving GMOs. 2388  To date such amendments have not been made.

  1. Including the Proposed Northland Regional Policy Statement, Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, Proposed Hastings District Plan

  2. The issues was considered but not decided in NZ Forest Research Institute Ltd v Bay of Plenty Regional Council [2013] NZEnvC 298


Last updated at 12:22PM on February 25, 2015