What is ERMA?
Val Orchard and Manuka Henare are both members of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA). Here they explain what ERMA does and why it is an exciting organisation to be part of.
ERMA is a government body that makes decisions on hazardous substances and new organisms on behalf of New Zealanders.
Elizabeth Craker (Convenor): One of the things that I thought would be good for us to talk about first is what ERMA actually stands for.
Val Orchard (ERMA): ERMA stands for the Environmental Risk Management Authority, and ERMA was set up 10 years ago now to enact the hazardous substances and new organisms (HSNO) legislation, which is pretty big – that's it there and it’s very small writing. So this is the HSNO, we call it the HSNO Act, which ERMA regulates.
ERMA consists of two parts. There is the authority, and Manuka and I are both on the authority. There are six other people on the authority, and we make some decisions about whether or not we will have some hazardous substances or new organisms coming into New Zealand.
And then the other half of ERMA is the agency, and they’re the people that collect lots and lots of information for us to help base our decisions on.
Manuka Henare (ERMA): Every day we learn something about the country – we are learning something about how New Zealanders feel about substances, hazardous substances, about new organisms, about biotechnology.
I've served on many government bodies, and some of them have been a hundred years old and so you just joined the queue as it were and carried on, but this one, you feel you are creating something for the long-term wellbeing of the country, and I find that cutting-edge stuff and quite exciting.
- 27 November 2007
- Quicktime video
- The University of Waikato