NEW ZEALAND: Tens of thousands march for 'GE-Free NZ'


Tens of thousands of people across New Zealand marched on October 11 to oppose genetically modified crops. A moratorium on GE crops is due to lapse at the end of October. The biggest march was in Auckland, where up to 35,000 people took part in what was probably the largest protest march ever held in New Zealand.

In Wellington, 4000 marched, while 1000 turned out in Christchurch. There were also marches in New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Timaru, and Dunedin.

"Today made history much the same as the nuclear-free protests in the 1980s", said Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel. "We have a nuclear-free New Zealand because the government listened to the people and the [Labor] government must listen to this huge expression of public feeling and extend the moratorium... We want New Zealand to remain GE free and parliament must listen."

The march was organised by Greenpeace, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering and the Auckland GE Free Coalition and was promoted thanks to the work of dozens of volunteers.

From Green Left Weekly, October 22, 2003.
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