Determination whether or not any organism is a new organism under section 26 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996
Passerine Bird species listed in Appendix 1 of this document
To determine that  passerine birds species are not a new organism under section 26 of the HSNO Act.
15 April 2004
28 May 2004
The New Organisms (Non-GMO) Standing Committee of the Authority
ERMA New Zealand Contact
The Committee determined that (from the 831 passerine bird species included in the application S2604002) 78 passerine bird species, as listed in Appendix 1 of this decision, are not new organisms.
Purpose of Application
To determine that 841 passerine birds species are not new organisms under section 26 of the HSNO Act.
The application was lodged to facilitate further import of the birds for display in Auckland Zoo and to increase the genetic diversity of population already present in New Zealand.
Application and Consideration Process
The application was formally received on 15 April 2004. The following information was available for the Committee for the determination process:
Application and supporting information (including a copy of the MAF Import Health Standard (IHS) for the importation of passerine birds into New Zealand from the United Kingdom); and
ERMA New Zealand Evaluation and Review (E&R) report including appendices.
The determination was made in accordance with section 26 of the HSNO Act (the Act). It is noted that the Methodology relating to the identification, assessment and evaluation of risks, costs and benefits is largely not applicable to section 26 determinations. Determination applications under section 26 are not required to be publicly notified under the Act.
In accordance with section 26(2)(b) of the Act, the Department of Conservation (DoC) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Biosecurity Authority were sent a copy of the application. DoC provided comments about the potential invasiveness of passerine bird species Carpodacus pupurerus, Sicalis flaveola, Tiaris canora and Lonchura malacca atricapilla. MAF provided comments about inconsistencies present in the applicant’s list of passerine bird species compared to the list of passerine bird species present in the MAF IHS. These inconsistencies are addressed in section 2.11 of the E&R report.
In accordance with section 19(2)(b) of the HSNO Act, the Authority appointed a Committee comprising Dr Lin Roberts (Chairperson), Mr Tony Haggerty and Dr Max Suckling to consider the application. The application was considered by teleconference on 28 May 2004.
Reasons for the Decision
The Committee noted that from the 84 passerine bird species in the application there were only 83 species to be determined, because Taeniopygia bichenovii is a synonym for Poephila bichenovii.
Further, the Committee noted that the applicant has withdrawn Lamprotornis superbus from the application in a letter dated 11 May 2004.
The Committee noted the DoC concerns over the invasiveness of four passerine bird species (see section 3.3of this decision) Carpodacus pupurerus, Sicalis flaveola, Tiaris canora and Lonchura malacca atricapilla. Therefore, the Committee consider that for these four species the available information is not of a sufficient standard to establish their “presence in New Zealand” status and invites the applicant to supply more information to complete their determination at a later date.
For the remaining 78 passerine bird species the Committee noted that their presence in New Zealand immediately prior to 29 July 1998 was to be determined on the basis of information gathered by MAF in September 1997 (see section 2.2 (a) of the E&R report) to determine what passerine birds are present in New Zealand for the purpose of the IHS.
The Committee noted that when the MAF IHS was compiled, the presence in New Zealand status was established under the Animal Act 1967 and the Biosecurity Act 1993.
The Committee accept that it is very likely the birds listed in the MAF IHS had been imported legally via an import permit granted under the Animals Act / Biosecurity Act before 1998 (see Appendix 6 of the E&R report). The Committee accepted that these birds are very likely to have been released to the importer and accordingly to be present in New Zealand outside containment facilities.
Therefore, the Committee considers that there is a reasonable level of evidence to indicate that the 78 passerine bird species listed in Appendix 1 of this decision were present in New Zealand immediately before 29 July 1998. In making this consideration the Committee noted the power to revoke the decision on receipt of further information under section 26(3) of the Act.
In its determination the Committee had regard to the definition of “new organism” under section 2A of the Act. For the 78 passerine bird species listed in Appendix 1 of this decision the Committee concluded:
The species listed in Appendix 1 were present in New Zealand immediately prior to 29 July 1998;
No species listed in Appendix 1 are prescribed as a risk species under section 140(1)(h)(i) and (ii) of the HSNO Act (there are currently no prescribed risk species under the HSNO Act);
No species listed in Appendix 1 are subject to containment or conditional release approval(s) under HSNO Act;
No species listed in Appendix 1 are qualifying organisms or genetically modified organism(s); and
No species listed in Appendix 1 are species, subspecies, infrasubspecies, variety, strain, or cultivar that has been eradicated from New Zealand.
Also the Committee is satisfied that the species listed in Appendix 1 of this decision:
appear to have been present in New Zealand before 29 July 1998 not in contravention of the Animals Act 1967 due to the Animals Act / Biosecurity Act permits (section 2A(3) of the HSNO Act); and
are not listed as a ‘prohibited organism’ in the Second Schedule of the HSNO Act (section 25(2) of the HSNO Act).
The Committee followed the decision path set out in Appendix 1 of the E&R report.
In accordance with section 26 of the Act and having regard to the information provided by all parties, as detailed above, the Committee determines that 78 passerine bird species listed in Appendix 1 of this decision are not new organisms for the purposes of the HSNO Act, and directs that this decision be enacted by notice in the New Zealand Gazette.