Several hundred scientists from New Zealand and overseas along with representatives from the agricultural and horticultural industries gather in Rotorua on Sunday for the 12th International Conference of Agricultural Biotechnology.
The conference has the theme Adapting to a Changing World and looks at environmental, social and economic change.
It includes addresses from the biotechnology vice presidents of Monsanto and Du Pont, two of the world's multinational agricultural biotechnology giants.
Opponents of genetically modified crops being grown in New Zealand are painting the presence of Monsanto and DuPont as being a vehicle for pushing GE food production.
They plan to protest outside the conference venue in Rotorua on Sunday afternoon.