Can Ngai Tahu Change Agria- New Hope- PGG Wrightsons Genetic Engineering Direction?

A Ngai Tahu Holdings influence into Agria-New Hope- PGG Wrightson marks the opportunity for a change in direction from PGG Wrightson’s intent on being a global leader in genetically engineered pasture seed, according to Soil & Health Association of New Zealand.

Ngai Tahu Holdings is quoted as “working on the development of an environmentally sustainable rural business model that reflects the values of the Ngai Tahu culture operating under the strictest of environmental practices and philosophies”.(1)

“Genetic engineering  (GE) field trials are considered tapu by Maori near some field trial sites, so the question must be;  What will be the status of the vast hectares of New Zealand pasture, should PGG Wrightson and Fonterra have their GE way?” asked Steffan Browning, Soil & Health-Organic NZ spokesperson Steffan Browning.(2)

“A description of Ngai Tahu Holdings as having “entrepreneurial courage” in the new venture will be shown if they can influence the PGG Wrightson Board, to drop its intent on introducing GE rye grass to Aotearoa New Zealand’s pastures. (3)

“Agria’s interest in PGG Wrightson lies in the lucrative seed division which has its sights on global dominance in GE pastures through the intellectual property it has control of, for high sugar  and low lignin GE pasture grasses.”(4)

PGG Wrightson GE rye grass seed now in overseas field trials, is intended to be released globally within 2 years, and is in part behind the continual lobbying by the United States Embassy and its pro-GE advocates such as Pamela Ronald and Terri Dunahay, coming to New Zealand, some funded by Pastoral Genomics and AGMARDT, both of whom are closely involved with Wrightson and Fonterra. (5)

The Chief Scientist of ViaLactia, part of biotech consortium Pastoral Genomics, and a fully owned subsidiary of Fonterra, has said his goal is to have the GE rye grass that he is developing throughout New Zealand pastures.

AGMARDT also funded the heavily criticised report by Otago University’s John Knight that suggested tourists would not be significantly deterred from visiting New Zealand if nuclear power, GE forages and more intensive farming was introduced. (6)

“Following Fukushima, just how untrue could that be? Corrupt polling does not make GE desirable. Consumers worldwide are increasingly treating genetic engineered food with similar disdain to nuclear power, as evidence of harm to health, the environment and rural communities increases,” said Mr Browning.

“The USA interest is the breaking of the New Zealand public’s resistance to GE, so that their own Monsanto and Pioneer GE seeds will have entry for the New Zealand corn-maize markets.”

“PGG Wrightson owned South American seed distribution companies will already be familiar with the GE strains, and PGG Wrightson has  seen the  “Seeds opportunity in Brazil represents a strategic growth opportunity”  in part  because of Brazil’s “ Positive attitude towards GM crops”.”(4)

“Agria, New Hope and PGG Wrightson are all involved with GE crops already, so the challenge to Ngai Tahu, if it wants to pursue entrepreneurial development with multinational pro-GE companies with major global GE crop proposals, is, how does it keep its rohe clean and “operating an environmentally sustainable rural business model that reflects the values of the Ngai Tahu culture operating under the strictest of environmental practices and philosophies”.””

“Kia kaha Ngai Tahu, as communities and farmers are finding throughout the world, there is no such thing as co-existence between GE and non-GE crops, and GE crops are not sustainable under any measure. The high sugar GE grass is unnecessary, and  there exists an equivalent developed without GE.” (7)

“New Zealand has much more opportunity staying GE Free and restoring its 100% Pure Aotearoa New Zealand vision rather than going down a multinational owned genetically engineered agricultural path. We will resist.”

Soil & Health has a vision of an Organic 2020 which it would like to share with Ngai Tahu to build resilience, self reliance and a healthy, nutritious and secure food supply for Aotearoa New Zealand.



(2)  P17 Ngati Tuteata in the ERMA hearing for Scion’s GE pine trees, stated that the land would be tapu until something would be worked out to bring a state of noa, free from tapu, at the end of the field trials.  How could a tapu of horizontal gene transfer become noa? Only through acceptance of the change, but Ngati Tuteata have agreed with tapu without knowledge of the technology.



(SBU) When asked what the top local impediments will be to concluding an agreement, Sinclair noted a number of areas sensitive to New Zealand. It is “no secret” that Monsanto does not like New Zealand’s genetically modified organism (GMO) regulations, Sinclair said.



(8)  Agria expects to sell GE seed in China P 13,

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