23 Apr 2010

Supreme Court clarifies release of ERMA information

3:29 pm on 23 April 2010

The Supreme Court has clarified the way in which the Environmental Risk Management Authority releases information about hazardous substances to people participating in its public hearings.

The decision arose from a case involving an application by Ancare New Zealand to import and manufacture a veterinary drench which was a hazardous substance.

Another company, Wyeth, sought details of the drench's composition so that it could make a submission to ERMA.

But ERMA would not release the details, citing commercial confidentiality.

In a ruling handed down on Friday, the Supreme Court said the Official Information Act outlines how competing interests are to be reconciled and provisions for a public register of applications do not require additional disclosure of confidential information.

Wyeth's appeal was dismissed.