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Making submissions on new organisms

This page explains how you can have a say on new organisms.

Notification of applications about new organisms

Anyone who wants to import, develop, field test or release anything defined as a ‘new organism’ under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO Act) in New Zealand must get approval from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).  

The HSNO Act provides for public participation in the EPA’s decision-making. The EPA must publicly notify applications concerning:

  • conditional release of a new organism
  • import of a new organism for release
  • release of a new organism from containment
  • field testing of a genetically modified organism
  • import, release, or use of a new organism in an emergency.

The EPA may also decide to publicly notify applications to import, develop or field test a new organism in containment where the EPA considers it is in the public interest to do so. Most of these applications involve development of new organisms in an enclosed laboratory.

Making a submission

Anyone can make a written submission on a publicly notified application. The EPA considers these submissions when deciding on an application.

As part of your submission, you can ask to speak at a hearing to support your views. The EPA must hold a hearing where you can do this.

See How to make a submission [EPA website]