HSNO Approval of Genetically Modified Organisms Policy


This policy applies to all staff and students of the University.


To ensure compliance with statutory obligations under Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996.


  1. Under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act (1996), all staff of the University have a statutory obligation to obtain prior HSNO approval before commencing any development or importation of genetically modified organisms (GMO)
  2. In addition to the requirement for HSNO approval, all work involving GMOs must be imported into or developed and used within the confines of an MPI approved containment facility and comply with any additional controls imposed as a condition of the HSNO approval
  3. The University of Auckland Biological Safety Committee (UABSC) has been delegated the power under the HSNO Act to assess and approve applications to develop or import low risk GMOs into containment
  4. Applications must be made in the first instance to the UABSC, Research Integrity Unit within the Research Office
  5. Research projects that involve GMOs must include the HSNO approval number on the research application coversheet, and will not be activated until the UABSC has assessed and approved the development or importation of the GMO


The following definitions apply to this policy:

Containment facility A place approved by MPI in accordance with section 39 of the Biosecurity Act, for holding organisms that should not become established in New Zealand

Genetically modified organisms as per S2 HSNO Act are: "Any organism in which any of the genes or other genetic material

a)    Have been modified by in vitro techniques; or
b)    Are inherited or otherwise derived, through any number of replications, from any other genes or other genetic material which has been modified by in vitro techniques”

MPI is the Ministry for Primary Industries

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaires


Document management and control

Content manager: Director Research Management

Owned by:  DVC ( Research)

Approved by: University of Auckland Biological Safety Committee

Date approved: 27 August 2013

Review Date: 27 August 2015