web analytics
The Standard

Smokefree? Then Cut the Crap!

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, March 18th, 2013 - 48 comments
Categories: drugs, health, Social issues - Tags: , ,

Apparently the government is concerned for the general health of people in New Zealand. Apparently, an expression of this concern is the roll out of policy initiatives that will result in New Zealand being smoke free by 2025.

As a fairly heavy smoker of some years, I have no problem with the stated goal. In fact I welcome it. But here’s the thing – the government obviously doesn’t give a shit about the general health and well being of people in New Zealand.

Last July I wrote a post outlining a strategy that would go a long way towards the government achieving a smoke free New Zealand. I stand by what was said then given the information I had to hand.

Currently available Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) such as gum, patches or inhalers are bloody expensive (really, not much cheaper than smoking)  and just don’t address the many incidental pleasures and habits involved in smoking. In fact, they seem to only adequately address the desire of pharmaceutical companies to spin vast profits from selling overpriced sources of nicotine to nicotine addicts.

The long and the short of current government policies is to reward pharmaceutical manufacturers by pushing a captive market their way while financially punishing and socially vilifying the addicts who comprise that potential market.

A couple of weeks ago I sourced two electronic delivery units and enough nicotine to last well over a year at my currently high nicotine consumption rates. Taking everything into account (units, nicotine, carrier solution, postage etc)  costs work out at somewhere between $2 and $3 per week over the next year as opposed to the weekly $50 or $60 (and rising) of smoking or buying existent NRTs every week.

So here’s a system where all the attendant pleasures and habits formally associated with smoking remain; a system where the health concerns have been eliminated. And because the user is able to determine the dosage of nicotine, the amount of nicotine can be incrementally reduced to zero at a pace that suits the user.

And what has this government done? You guessed it. A system that has no known (and very likely will have no known) negative health effects that puts former smokers firmly in control of their nicotine use has been fucking well banned from retail sale.

The excuse is that nicotine is a medicine. (Except when it’s sold as tobacco of course.) Which is nice for the government’s ongoing take of tobacco tax and nice for pharmaceuticals looking to gouge the very people the government claims to be concerned about.

48 comments on “Smokefree? Then Cut the Crap!”

  1. Lightly 1

    interesting. have you got a link to the product online or a link to the ban?

  2. shorts 2

    I’ve a concern about the stated goal – why?

    For what purpose is a smoke free NZ so important?

    I don’t believe for a second this govt or any other gives a rats arse for my personal health except where in comes to the potential I may cost the taxpayers for health treatment I might not have needed if I didn’t smoke

    I am curious as to how you’re doing with electronic cigarettes, as its something I’ve been considering too

    • Bill 2.1

      I’ve no desire to smoke tobacco or cigarettes after 20 odd years of smoking. What more can I say? The addiction side of things is dealt with including those components of the addiction that are more to do with ritual etc.

    • bad12 2.2

      The revenue gathering Government using tobacco addiction as a means of such revenue gathering is further exposed,

      Strange isn’t it that this same Government has not banned ‘duty free’ cigarettes despite there being evidence of overseas travelers part funding there jaunts off of the back of a black market in the products brought through duty free,

      Yet banished is a nicotine replacement tool??? this apparent contradiction wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that it is the monied frequent flyers who are gaining the profits from on-selling duty free tobacco products and such monied folk are more likely to be National Party voters…

      • Mark 2.2.1

        Haha, that is about the most ridiculous conspiracy theory I have ever heard.. can I use it? No doubt all these Nact mate frequent flyer rich pricks are probably travelling back and forth over the tasman every day so they can make what.. $90 on a carton?? Fuck, I’m wetting myself.. is that you Wussel.. with a level of economic intelligence like that it must be..
        Oh, that was good.. but back to reality..

        I’m a heavily addicted smoker, have been for 30 years.. apparently the tax take from smokers far exceeds the cost to society, and subsidises a whole other bunch of health initiatives.. isn’t that a good thing in your eyes?

        I have also tried (used) pretty much every illicit substance.. none of which have had anything like the addictive effect of nicotine on me.. except possibly pot when I was a teenager which I severely regret using then.

        I have the Greensmoke stuff.. not bad, especially on long flights (1 hour +), but there is nothing like that ritual of lighting up and smoking.

        But what should we do.. ban tobacco?.. tax it more?.. plain packaging?.. health initiatives?..

        • bad12 2.2.1.1

          Aw PG when are you going to drop the charade and revert back to the usual handle, yes the trying of all the illicit substances will explain nicely the apparent brain damage inherent in your comments,

          Scoff all you want, sports teams, rich pricks,little old granny’s, none of whom smoke all totter through ‘arrivals’ with the full compliment of duty free tobacco products and the frequent fliers are the worst of them all,

          Only a fool or a drug addled deranged retard would suggest that anyone indulges in the rigors of international travel on the basis of a trade in black market tobacco products, those that do indulge in the black market aspect of that travel simply do so on the basis of an incidental perk,

          For those that travel internationally on a weekly basis as part of their employment the perk of black market duty free tobacco products are a grand little earn,

          Funny how as the tax on tobacco products rose so did the uptake of duty free tobacco products…

        • tricledrown 2.2.1.2

          mark how does 1.2 billion in tax equal 6 billion in damages to the economy!
          The rest of us are subsidizing your slow sucky suicide!
          it would be more satisfying if just one cigarette did the job then you would have no complaints or addiction excuses!
          Its hypocritical that we prosecute people who indulge and push less dangerous drugs like heroine cocaine p etc and tobacco which kills hundreds times more people !

          • McFlock 2.2.1.2.1

            I have some doubts about an economic analysis that remembers excise tax but forgets fifteen or twenty odd years of zero pensions paid to half of smokers (at pre-excise levels, anyway).

            Particularly after you dropped the”suicide” zinger.

            • tricledrown 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Mc flock the govt inquiry into tobacco proved 4,700 people a year died from tobacco related deaths!
              Loss of income through time off work and early deaths and other related losses ie damage done to families by loosing family members early ,loosing the support of elders in the families of those who die early has a knock on effect that was proven to have serious economic effects for those left behind!
              That money that wasn,t paid out in pensions also had flow on effect(keynsian)in lowering economic activity!

              • McFlock

                Ah. So the pension bubble by 2050 is an economic bonus.
                And what about those people with no dependants, I wonder. And did that factor use average consumption by weight of tobacco at the time, or project decreasing consumption by smokers with increasing excise?

                It’s amazing what economics can come up with when the prevalent prejudice has a desired outcome. One only needs to look at the tories for that.

  3. ghostrider888 3

    True Article Bill; conventional NRT is potentially another medico / commercial scam. Alan Carr suggests cold turkey, however this is easier said… cos nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in the pharmacopea; Still, it is about prospective tax burden as shorts identifies, and a fair amount of authoritarianism imo; consider the cost of other Western life-style choice activities to the public purse. I don’t know, sport, work-related accidents, the effects of poverty come to mind for a start. Having faced the reaper a few times now, growing own tobacco for accompanying the odd cup of tea sounds attractive.
    Anyway, the future costs of the rate the locals consume booze and other recreational drugs is going to sting more imo; talked with a couple of profs. working in the field recently: Addiction is a growth industry baby!(still, inflicting ones smoke on children and others? not so cool Marlboro Man)

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Alan Carr suggests cold turkey, however this is easier said…

      I went cold turkey – in the end it was the only way I could give up. It was hard for the first week, during which time I had a couple of puffs on a couple, but after that the craving for smoking went away pretty quick.

  4. McFlock 4

    lol

    Although I have no intention of quitting, my sister and her husband used those successfully.

    I seem to recall that NZ1’s (I almost wrote “Winston’s”, but that might have led to confusion :) ) funded their kids <4 doctor visits in 1997 via a coincidental $300mil rise in tobacco excise. After that the nats kept hiking the excise to fund any old policy.

    But it was labour who hiked the fees while making quit therapies free for all.

    • Bill 4.1

      Maybe I’m happy enough to be addicted to nicotine too. Which doesn’t matter, because the health concerns were and are around smoking. And I don’t smoke.

      Meanwhile, the NRTs are not free in perpetuity. You get (maybe) two goes at patches that are paid for from the public purse, ie – the manufacturers get their full whack of dosh. And if the various gums and patches don’t work over the long haul, then you have to pay full (and grossly inflated) prices for whatever NRT your chemist can supply.

      But my question, aside from the stupidity of the ban, is to do with the justification of an inhaler consisting of the same ingredients as an e-cig costing between $50 and $60 and lasting maybe one or two weeks when an e-cig costs about $20, will last over 300 recharges (over a year) and an excess of a years supply of ingredients will cost less than $100 – including overseas P&P?

      I mean, both items are manufactured by companies out to make money. Yet the (arguably far less effective) pharmaceutical product is many, many times more expensive than the other.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I suppose that goes as to whether nicotine should be a controlled substance and the effect on supply restrictions in a capitalist medical health system – pharmac is socialist, but it only has so much negotiating power with the private enterprise suppliers.

        Personally I’d say that the obvious answer is no, NRT should be just as accessible as cigarettes themselves. Unless there’s some problem with either the e-cigarettes or the refill solution, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be.

        I CAN project motives onto separate but powerful players – big pharma of course wants people to ask their doctor to write a script so they can pay an exorbitant amount for a restricted product, and ASH have a real bee in their bonnet about things that allegedly “normalise” smoking. And the nacts are happy because it removes one avenue of escape that addicts have to stop smoking if they want too, thus ensuring sustained tax revenue from the increased excise levies the nacts impose to pretend they give a fuck about people. But that’s all cynical supposition, of course.

    • bad12 4.2

      Yes we have been here befor, from the Chairman of the ‘Quitline program’, 1st line of His annual report, if my memory serves me right the 2012 edition,

      ”Quitline reaches 9% of smokers”, from a study by a university professor who’s name escapes me right at this moment released about the same time, ”2% of those who try will be successful at quitting and within 12 months over 60% of that 2% will have started smoking the stuff again”,

      The evidence is there if you choose to dig it out, attempting to tax people away from the Nicotine Addiction does not lead to any great degree of cessation,

      Given that the largest cohort of those who do smoke are to be found in the lowest income brackets we have to then consider what is the effect of higher taxation upon these people who cannot quit the addiction,

      Obviously if you are on a low income then the only discretion in that income is usually to be found in the food budget, it then becomes apparent that such overt taxation will be as damaging to the health of those addicted to the product as the product is supposed to be…

  5. nthshoredoc 5

    Not sure why you think NRT is ‘bloody expensive’ it’s been subsidised in NZ for quite a while now and is only a rX fee or not even that if you have reached you rX limit for the year.

    • Bill 5.1

      I think it’s bloody expensive because I picked up an inhaler containing nicotine at a chemist to have a look and it was priced at over $50.

      • nthshoredoc 5.1.1

        If you’re dumb enough to buy NRT over the counter at the chemist it is expensive.

        You can get it next to free on Rx.

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          Not sure what Rx or rX refers to (prescription?). But if you are saying that I could go to my doctor, pay my $40 or whatever for the visit and get (say) patches and just keep going back for years to get my supply of patches topped up, then that’s news to me.

          Is that what you are saying? That prescriptions can be repeated ad-infinitum?

          • nthshoredoc 5.1.1.1.1

            You can go through your GP but it’s cheaper still to go through one of the services like Quitline

            http://www.quit.org.nz/62/help-to-quit/nicotine-patches-gum-and-lozenges

            Good luck with trying to kick the habit.

            • Bill 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah -nah. The question was whether endless repeat scrips are possible? It’s a serious question given as how these government policies are basically driving the ‘captured’ tobacco industry customer base over to an equally captured or monopolised and far more heavily subsidised pharmaceutical market.

              As bad12 quotes at comment 4.2 – these NRT simply don’t work for the vast majority of smokers. But with tobacco prices going through the roof, many of the million or so smokers in NZ are being driven to using NRTs…that the pharmaceutical industry makes a killing on- courtesy of the public purse.

              Meanwhile, a cheap and effective alternative (that just happens to not be under the control of the pharmaceuticals) has been effectively banned.

              Meaning that both smokers and non-smokers are being duped and ripped off if those scripts are able to be endlessly repeated.

              • nthshoredoc

                The pharma industry in NZ doesn’t make much money out of NRT at all as it’s been tendered out by PHRMAC since around 2005.

                NRT approximately doubles the effectiveness of smoking cessation programmes although it’s still not flash at around the 6-7% range after six months – failing NRT you are best to ask your GP about buproprion or varenicline which gets success rates up to around 15% and 25% respectively.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Best to spend the money on prevention rather than cure

                  it’s a few millions of dollars p.a., at a guess, for big pharma

            • Colonial Weka 5.1.1.1.1.2

              Can you please answer the questions?

              Are NRTs available long term?

              Can you access prescriptions for them without having to see a doctor?

              What’s the maximum length of prescription time?

              • nthshoredoc

                Are NRTs available long term?

                Yes

                Can you access prescriptions for them without having to see a doctor?

                Yes

                What’s the maximum length of prescription time?

                12 weeks

                • Bill

                  So including the cost of an appointment, it’s possible to get 12 weeks of an NRT that has a reducing nicotine content (eg patches that progress from 20mg down to 5mg or whatever) And that costs roughly $200 per year at $40 + per doctor visit + prescription charge.

                  Alternatively, importing nicotine and an e-cig pack (two batteries, recharger etc) that allows you to control your nicotine dose costs (tops) $150 for more than a one year supply. And it doesn’t require dropping all of the ingrained habits associated with smoking.

                  Then we have the issue of public monies pointlessly subsidising the profits of the pharmaceutical industry.

                  In the current situation where the government is hell bent on penny pinching and where it also claims to have the health of the general populace at heart, why is it spending unnecessary money on strategies that have questionable results and literally assuring that more smokers become ill or die by blocking access to an affordable and safe alternative?

  6. just saying 6

    Bill,
    In your various links, I couldn’t find where you had sourced the product.
    I realise there are issues with publicising this. Could you perhaps email me with the info?
    This product could help my health and my budget.

    And if not…
    Bad12, I’ve been meaning to ask – what do you store your cured, finished tobacco in for the long term?
    [B- Done :) ]

    • bad12 6.1

      Lolz, we are getting way off topic here, but, i buy those big paper rubbish bags from the supermarket, cut them in half and staple the bottom of the half that has npo bottom in it givoing it a bottom and making two good sized thick paper bags,

      Once i have stripped out the middle rib of the leaves i grab bunches of dried leaves and give them a first cut, as fine as possible with one cut of the scissors and into the paper bags the cut stuff goes and from there into the hot water cupboard THIRD shelf up which allows the cut leaf to remain stable and doesn’t radically dry the stuff anymore than what it is,

      My hot water cylinder has been wrapped, so if yours aint, possibly the top shelf of the hot water cupboard would be better,

      From there i give handfuls of the stuff a second cutting on the table to make it fine enough to roll, the ready to smoke, the stuff then goes into those dutch biscuit tins which i have cut a thick piece of cardboard with which to line the bottom of the tin with, (cardboard and paper are good at stabilizing this and other smokable’s as they allow for the transmission of moisture back and forth),

      And finally i have another biscuit tin which i have a small amount of finely cut smokable tobacco in for rolling ciggys, (have found that this tin when opened and clposed during the day to get a rolly going will on the wetter days provoke the tobacco to get damp or dry depending upon the time of year so keeping little bits,(half a days smoking) in that tin means if it gets too damp or too dry there’s not much hassle in mixing it back into one of the tins of cut stuff,

      Hope that helps, lolz i had a great grow this year, in the ground at the start of November and all pulled by the end of January, cased and cut up and in the hot water cupboard now, i have a half rubbish bag to give the first cut,(which i was supposed to do today), and the leaves off of the 3 plants i kept in the ground longer for seeds drying in the shed…

      • just saying 6.1.1

        Thanks Bad12.
        Glad to hear you had a good year!

        • bad12 6.1.1.1

          Welcome!!!, as an afterthought the reason i use multiple paper bags is the ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ analogy,

          i use 12 bags and next year all that’s left in them from this season,(lolz lot’s), can go into on full size rubbish sack and then reside on the next shelf up,

          My habits a whopping $100 a week at current prices so it’s all money in the bank as far as i am concerned,(saving up for when they get around to making growing ya own illegal),

          i havn’t bought any since the first week in December…

          • RJLC 6.1.1.1.1

            You go to a lot of trouble to enable a slow death or shortened lifespan for yourself.
            Such determination.
            Hats off.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.1

              AS if non-tobacco related death n old age is any quicker.
              And yeah, there’s a calculated trade off of quality of life vs length. Frankly, the prospect of another fifty years in a society run by sanctimonious pricks drives me to drink as well as tobacco.

  7. Rich 7

    A “smokefree NZ’ isn’t going to happen by 2025, or anytime after that. The two holdout groups of the underclass and rebellious alternative culture types will prove very difficult to shift.

    I guess they’ll change the definition to something like 75% non-smoking, cigarettes banned in public, cigarettes only obtainable from a (huge, organised-crime run) black market or something like that.

    • Colonial Weka 7.1

      Or cigarettes on prescription (see Bill’s original post linked above).

      I can see the potential for the e-cigs to become trendy and desirable. NZ has been successful at changing attitudes towards smoking. I think there is a lot further we can go with this.

      • Bill 7.1.1

        And if e-cigs become trendy and desirable then smoking ends, aye? (And big pharma loses it’s publicly subsidised pay-cheque) Win/win I’d say.

        • bad12 7.1.1.1

          Lolz, i am willing to put money on it that the only ‘means’ of attempting this ‘smokefree NZ’ by anytime will be through taxation,

          i am so sure of this simply because i do not believe that those at the top of the food chain are after anything but some easy to get at tax monies from those who have no way of stopping the use of the product being taxed,

          It’s exhausting to keep repeating this,but, if ‘they’ were serious about dramatically reducing the amount of smokers in NZ ‘they’ would simply have had us all register as users of the product with our doctors over the period of 6 months to a year and at the cut off point only those with a doctors scrip would be able to purchase cigarettes,

          In doing that no-one presently under the age of 18 could register as an addict and thus use of the product legally bought would in the future die off as the present generation of smokers did,

          Either way, through taxation or the prescription method i describe above there would develop a small black market,(Lolz maybe a big one), but,way less tobacco than is being smoked today would be being consumed…

  8. Colonial Weka 8

    Reading the Herald link, ffs, could they not get an actual legal opinion from an actual legal expert? Medsafe say e-cigs are illegal (I’m guessing they are overstating the case), and the smoke-free trust people are saying they’re legal as long as the seller doesn’t make therapeutic claims.

    While I don’t believe that the nicotine in e-cigs is completely benign (all drugs have side effects), I definitely support the idea that people should be free to choose, and that choice should be affordable to all.

    Am curious about this from the medsafe dude

    “”Nicotine is a deadly poison and when intended for administration to humans it is a scheduled medicine,” said group manager Dr Stewart Jessamine.”

    Nothing to qualify that?

  9. Huginn 9


    Kim Hill interviews Richard Hurt, the director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Centre, visiting New Zealand for the Inaugural International Cancer Symposium organised by the University of Otago.
    (Duration: 32′16″)

    Dr Hill makes the point that there is considerable variation in our response to nicotine and that strategies to quit smoking have to be tailored to suit the individual.

    He made the case for inhalers by arguing that nicotine isn’t the problem as much as all the other substances in the smoke. So nicotine delivered by inhaler is relatively benign.

    Most interesting, from a political pov, was his description of the evolution of the modern cigarette into a carefully engineered technology of ruthless exploitation that bears little little resemblance to the cigarettes that our grandparents smoked.

    It would be interesting to find out whether the tobacco lobby has had anything to do with this ban on nicotine inhalers.

  10. Huginn 10

    Here’s the link to the Kim Hill interview:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2463680/richard-hurt-big-tobacco-and-nicotine-dependence.as

    Sorry, I wasn’t able to insert it nicely into the previous post.

  11. millsy 11

    To be honest, Im getting rather uncomfortable with this whole ‘smokefree by 2025′ thing. Are we going to ban the sale of tobacco? Cant see that working out too well. The last time prohibition was tried on such a scale, we had nice chaps like Al Capone, and John Dillinger in the headlines….

    I dont like smoking, and I supported the contrversial law to ban smoking from bars (sky hasant fallen in yet, though a few nightclubs here have gone to the wall since that law was passed, including the iconic “Mill”, co-incidental, maybe), but I think things have gotten really far, with the plain packaging, the tax hikes, and the covering up of retail displays, not to mention councils banning smoking in bars, banning smoking in prisons (they would have been better off to make smoking a privilige that inmates had to earn), and now we hear that DHB’s want to sack staff who smoke, crazy.

    Seems to me that this is all about Tariana Turia’s desire to be bracketed with Apriana Ngata and Maui Pomare.

    The e-cigarettes sound interesting, and I think allowing their sale and distrubution is a good idea, better than going on at us about who naughty we are for lighting up. It will probably make them smoke even more…

  12. beatie 12

    I started smoking 30+ years ago. I’ve had periods of non-smoking, the longest lasting 8 years. I’ve tried the gum and the inhaler but found them both addictive. I tried the Alan Carr method and found it incredibly easy . Unfortunately it’s so easy with this method that I’ve start again thinking I’ll just read the book and bingo. At present I haven’t smoked for 3 months and don’t miss it. As I get older it is much harder on me physically and I simply can’t afford it even ‘tho I smoke rollies. Also it just so lovely to have my sense of smell back.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Which must mean your sense of taste also improves?

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        fuck I need to smoke more – got into the office this morning and was overwhelmed by a stench of what must have been spagbol’s misbegot cousin. Sheeeeit. Took a while for my nose to shut down.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 hours ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 day ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    2 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    2 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    3 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    3 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    3 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    4 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    4 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    4 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    4 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    6 days ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    7 days ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for&hellip; ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    7 days ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    7 days ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    7 days ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere