Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) is
Zealand government agency which controls the introduction
of hazardous substances and new organisms.
ERMA is principally responsible for implementing the Hazardous Substances
and New Organisms Act
The aim of ERMA is stated as:
- "Achieve effective prevention or management of risks to the
environment, public health and safety associated with importing or
manufacturing hazardous substances and introducing new organisms,
and their use."
The Authority of ERMA New Zealand makes decisions on applications
under Part V of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, by
evaluating risks, costs and benefits, placing conditions on
approvals; and making decisions on transitional licences and other
approvals.ERMA New Zealand's Authority uses risk management
principles contained in the Methodology to guide its work.
Under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996,
the Authority is required to consider and weigh up the adverse and
beneficial effects of a new organism or substance. The detailed
decisions of the Authority also give an insight into how it has
dealt with different aspects of risks, costs and benefits.
To mitigate any risks they apply controls (where relevant and
possible) to the application, just as in everyday life we wear
seatbelts to reduce the risks associated with driving. The controls
might include housing the organism or substance in a specially
designed laboratory or they may be to wear protective equipment
when handling a certain hazardous chemical.
The Authority's role is to manage risks to the environment and to
public health, and they do this through their decision-making
processes on applications. When they receive an application they
weigh up the adverse and beneficial effects on society, the
environment, public health etc.