Environmental risk management authority decision

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Date signed: 30 July 2004

Application code


Application category

Determination whether or not any organism is a new organism under section 26 of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996


Auckland Zoo


Passerine Bird species listed in Appendix 1 of this document


To determine that [84] passerine birds species are not a new organism under section 26 of the HSNO Act.

Date received

15 April 2004

Consideration date

28 May 2004

Considered by

The New Organisms (Non-GMO) Standing Committee of the Authority

ERMA New Zealand Contact

Asela Atapattu

  1. Decision

    1. 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.

  2. Purpose of Application

    1. To determine that 841 passerine birds species are not new organisms under section 26 of the HSNO Act.

    2. 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.

  3. Application and Consideration Process

    1. The application was formally received on 15 April 2004. The following information was available for the Committee for the determination process:

      1. 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

      2. ERMA New Zealand Evaluation and Review (E&R) report including appendices.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

  4. Reasons for the Decision

    1. 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.

    2. Further, the Committee noted that the applicant has withdrawn Lamprotornis superbus from the application in a letter dated 11 May 2004.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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.

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    1. 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).

    1. The Committee followed the decision path set out in Appendix 1 of the E&R report.

  1. Conclusion

    1. 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.

Dr Lin Roberts Date

Chair, Decision-making Committee of the Authority

Appendix 1: List of Passerine Bird Species

  1. Acanthis flammea Linnaeus 1758 Redpoll (feral)

  2. Aidemosyne modesta Gould 1837 Plumhead (Cherry Finch)

  3. Amadina erythrocephala Linnaeus 1958 Aberdeen (Red Headed Finch)

  4. Amadina fasciata Gmelin 1789 Cut-throat

  5. Amandava amandava Linnaeus 1758 Avadavat (Red Strawberry)

  6. Amandava Formosa Latham 1790 Avadavat (Green Strawberry)

  7. Amandava subflava Vieillot 1819 Orange-breasted Waxbill

  8. Auripasser luteus Lichtenstein 1823 Golden Song Sparrow

  9. Cardinalis cardinalis Linnaeus 1758 Red Crested Cardinal (Virginian)

  10. Carduelis carduelis Linnaeus 1758 Goldfinch (feral)

  11. Carduelis chloris Linnaeus 1758 Greenfinch (feral)

  12. Carduelis cucullata Swainson 1820 Siskin - Red Hooded

  13. Carduelis sinica Linnaeus 1766 Greenfinch (oriental)

  14. Carduelis spinus Linnaeus 1758 Siskin-European

  15. Chloebia gouldiae Gould 1844 Gouldian Finch

  16. Emberiza citrinella Linnaeus 1758 Yellow Hammer (feral)

  17. Emblema picta Gould 1842 Painted Firetail

  18. Erythrura hyperythra Reichenbach 1863 Parrot-Finch - Bamboo

  19. Erythrura pealii Hartlaub 1852 Parrot-Finch - Peale’s

  20. Erythrura prasina Sparrman 1788 Parrot-Finch - Pin-tailed Nonpareil

  21. Erythrura psittacea Gmelin 1789 Parrot-Finch - Redheaded

  22. Erythrura trichroa Kittlitz 1835 Parrot-Finch - Blue-faced

  23. Erythrura tricolor Vieillot 1817 Parrot-Finch - Tricoloured

  24. Estrilda caerulescens Vieillot 1817 Lavender Waxbill

  25. Estrilda astrild Linnaeus 1758 Saint Helena Waxbill

  26. Estrilda erythronotos Vieillot 1817 Black-cheeked Waxbill

  27. Estrilda melanotis Temminck 1823 Swee Waxbill

  28. Estrilda melpoda Vieillot 1817 Orange-cheeked Waxbill

  29. Estrilda troglodytes Lichtenstein 1823 Red Eared Waxbill

  30. Euchstospiza dybowskie Oustalet 1892 Dybowski Twinspot

  31. Euplectes axillaris Smith 1838 Whydah - Red Shouldered

  32. Euplectes orix orix Linnaeus 1758 Weaver - Red/orange Bishop (Grenadier)

  33. Foudia madagascariensis Linnaeus 1766 Weaver - Madagascar

  34. Fringilla coelebs Linnaeus 1758 Chaffinch (feral)

  35. Heteromunia pectoralis Gould 1841 Pictorella Mannikin

  36. Hypargos niveoguttatus Peters 1868 Twinspot Peters Red

  37. Lagonostica larvata Ruppell 1840 Masked Firefinch

  38. Lagonostica rhodopareia Heuglin 1868 Jameson’s Firefinch

  39. Lagonosticta senegala Linnaeus 1766 Fire Finch

  40. Leiothrix lutea Scopoli 1786 Pekin Robin

  41. Lonchura bicolor negriceps Cassin 1852 Rufous Backed Mannikin

  42. Lonchura caniceps Salvadori 1876 Munia Greyheaded

  43. Lonchura cantans Gmelin 1789 Silverbill

  44. Lonchura castaneothorax Gould 1837 Chestnut-breasted Mannikin

  45. Lonchura domestica (Domestic Hybrid) Bengalese Finch

  46. Lonchura flaviprymna Gould 1845 Yellow-rumped Mannikin

  47. Lonchura leucogastra Blyth 1846 Munia White-bellied

  48. Lonchura maja Linnaeus 1766 Munia White-headed

  49. Lonchura malacca malacca Linnaeus 1766 Munia Tri-coloured

  50. Lonchura punctulata Linnaeus 1758 Spice Finch

  51. Mandingoa nitidula Hartlaub 1865 Twinspot - Green

  52. Neochmia phaeton Hombron and Jacquinot 1841 Crimson Finch (Blood Finch)

  53. Neochmia ruficauda Gould 1837 Star Finch

  54. Neochima temporalis Latham 1801 Red Browed Finch (Sydney Waxbill)

  55. Ortygospiza atricollis Vieillot 1817 Quail Finch

  56. Padda oryzivora Linnaeus 1758 Java Sparrow

  57. Paroaria cucullata Miller 1776 Red Crested Cardinal

  58. Poephia cincta Gould 1837 Black Throated Grassfinch (Parson)

  59. Poephila acuticauda Gould 1840 Longtailed Grassfinch

  60. Poephila acuticauda hecki Gould 1840 Longtailed Grassfinch (Heck’s)

  61. Poephila personata Gould 1842 Masked Grassfinch

  62. Pyrrhula pyrrhula Linnaeus 1758 European Bullfinch

  63. Pytilia hypogrammica Sharpe 1870 Aurora (Red-headed / Yellow Wing)

  64. Pytilia melba Linnaeus 1758 Melba

  65. Pytilia phoenicoptera Swainson 1837 Aurora

  66. Serinus canaria Linnaeus 1758 Canaries (all crossbreeds, mutations, hybirds)

  67. Serinus leucopygius Sundevall 1850 Singer - Grey

  68. Serinus mozambicus Muller 1776 Singer - Little Green

  69. Spinus ictericus Siskin – Viellot 1805 Yellow Headed (Black-hooded)

  70. Stagonopleura guttata Shaw 1796 Diamond Firetails

  71. Taeniopygia bichenovii Vigors and Horsfield 1827

  72. Taeniopygia guttata Vieillot 1817 Zebra Finch

  73. Uraeginthus angolensis Linnaeus 1758 Cordon Bleu (Red-cheeked)

  74. Uraeginthus cyanocephalus Richmond 1897 Blue-capped Cordon Bleu

  75. Uraeginthus granatina Linnaeus 1766 Violet-eared Waxbill

  76. Uraeginthus ianthinogaster Reichenow 1879 Purple Grenadier Waxbill

  77. Vidua macroura Pallas 1764 Whydah - Pintailed

  78. Volatinia jacarina Linnaeus 1766 Jacarini

1 Though there are 84 passerine birds in the application one was found to be a synonym of another species in the application (see section 4.1of this decision)

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