Does New Zealand have a productive future under the HSNO Act?

Cornell, Wade
August 2005
New Zealand Tree Grower;Aug2005, Vol. 26 Issue 3, p31
This article examines the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO) in New Zealand. Any new grass, mycorrhiza inoculant, natural predator, tree, shrub, fungus, insect or animal not already present in New Zealand is presumed to be potentially environmentally catastrophic. The HSNO legislation's basic premise is that defining any plant or animal as a species potentially imbues it with devious powers to destroy the New Zealand environment, even though it may be almost identical to a species already existing in New Zealand and within the same genus. Eucalypts have been a good example and one that recently tested the inflexible boundaries of the HSNO. New Zealand has at least a 150-year history of freely importing any and all eucalypt species. In that time none have become a pest. At the time eucalypts were first imported, botanists had only described around a hundred species. Now it is hard to say how many species there are as taxonomists seldom agree, even at the genus level.


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