PO Box 13402
Wellington, New Zealand

GE-Free New Zealand

in food and environment (RAGE Inc.)


Kua hinga he totara i te wao nui a Tane.


It is with great sadness we hear of the death of Dr. Moana Jackson.

Dr. Jackson was a man of great integrity and passion. His work in law reform and education led to a greater awareness around Te Tiriti O Waitangi. He educated us on the responsibility for us to recognise the promises made under Te Tiriti and to understand the intergenerational problems of colonisation. His expertise in indigenous peoples rights was recognised globally.

He raised constitutional concerns around Genetic Engineering issues regarding protection of indigenous species and the ownership and patents of GE organisms. He was profoundly offended by the attitude of many scientists claiming, “Maori have no notion of science”. Seeing it as a denial to exercise the indigenous knowledge and tino rangatiratanga; the ability to live following Maori tikanga (customs), and to ensure that the homes, land, and resources are protected for the use and enjoyment of the present and future generations. Dr Jackson helped to define in law these important issues to Maori.

Dr. Jackson highlighted the failure toward Maori that the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification revealed when coming to their decision. As he saw it the Commission choose to redefine the pakeha interpretation of indigenous values and further segregate the relationship of Maori and the Crown on the issue of GE, saying:
“On the matter that holds so many risks for what Maori submitters called the “ira tangata”, it is not enough that we be heard with “exquisite politeness” and then marginalised. Our mokopuna deserve better and our rights demand more.” [1]

A great educator he was deeply concerned over the injustices of colonisation. All his life he sought to bring awareness and address the poverty, harm and spiritual decline indigenous peoples have suffered.

Dr Jackson's passing is a sad loss for Aotearoa and we must not forget the awareness he raised to respect our different cultures and addressing the injustices that still exist today.

On behalf of our members we offer our deep sympathy and aroha to the whanau of Moana Jackson.

[1] An Exquisite Politeness: The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification and the Redefining of the Treaty of Waitangi http://www.apc.org.nz/pma/redefi.htm

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