web analytics

Gutless backdown will cost money and lives

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, July 27th, 2010 - 62 comments
Categories: crime, Social issues - Tags: ,

So, National has failed to act on drink driving. The Director of the National Addiction Centre calls it “scandalous”.

While recidivist and youth drink drivers will, from early next year, be permitted to drive only if they have consumed no alcohol, the rest of the population will be able to continue to drive as intoxicated, as merrily and as foolishly as ever. Yet, New Zealand has a devastating road toll, and alcohol consumption is a major contributing cause. There seems to be no good reason not to lower the breath-alcohol level, and every reason to do so. The government’s failure of leadership will cost money and lives.

Why, then, the back down? Because drink driving is the common man’s crime – one that, among well-to-do middle class people, looms larger than most other criminal offences. This is why Steven Joyce has decided to stall legislative change to the breath-alcohol limit pending the results of New Zealand-specfic “research”. The Minister can’t really think that New Zealand is so different from Australia or Europe (where blood-alcohol limits are generally 50mg/100ml, as opposed to our 80mg/ml), or that New Zealanders are, in any scientifically significant way, so different from Europeans or Australians that we need to do our own, special research to find out whether a lower breath-alcohol level would work to lower the road toll. And anyway, what’s with National’s sudden fetish for evidence-based law-making: double bunking, anyone? National standards? 90-day legislation? Truth is, Steven Joyce knows that if the drink driving net is widened, lots more people will find themselves in court. Some of those people will look a bit like him. And that won’t win him, or his Party, votes.

62 comments on “Gutless backdown will cost money and lives”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    According to Guyan Espinar this morning on “Breakfast” Labour also balked at reducing the general blood alcohol limit. Probably for similar reasons.

    • comedy 1.1

      “Labour also balked at reducing the general blood alcohol limit. Probably for similar reasons.”

      I don’t think ‘they are fuckwits too nah ne nah ne nah’ is very helpful.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 1.2

      Fairly safe to say given they were in for nine years and did nothing as well. Its pretty damning of our polticians that they won’t put their own interests ahead of public safety.

      • prism 1.2.1

        ZB I think I know what you mean or are you being ironic?
        “It’s pretty damning of our politicians that they won’t put their own interests ahead of public safety.”
        Oh if only that were true!

    • I will be the first to admitt that the Labour Party failed to adress the drink drive problem. However it shows which way Espinar thinks when he has to point out that Labour did not lower the limit .
      What has that got to do with situation now.

    • Well it proves that Espinar means to defend National and to denigrate Labour whatever the debate. I would agree that Labour did not limit the alcohol limit but that is in the past . The overwhelming evidence is that drinking and driving kills!
      The answer is zero alcohol for drivers. Is it too much to ask for there to be a non drinker in a group party people . Sweden has zero limit and its common for the host of a party to ask who is the driver and then supply them with non-alcoholic drinks.

  2. prism 2

    And anyway, what’s with National’s sudden fetish for evidence-based law-making: double bunking, anyone? National standards? 90-day legislation? Truth is, Steven Joyce knows that if the drink driving net is widened, lots more people will find themselves in court. Some of those people will look a bit like him. And that won’t win him, or his Party, votes.
    Good point. Joyce found no joy for him when trawling through the suggestions to make a practical difference to the drinking and driving habits of NZs. The excess of alcohol that spoils lives with a loss of future achievement of that individual. Then there is the disaster on the roads and heightened police presence and surveillance of us all.

    So Joyce has picked out something to do so it appears that he is willing to tackle the problem whereas he is shelving it for later. Gutless Joyce and NACT – lazy useless politicians picking their favourite flavours from the chocolate box – leaving the ones not to their taste. Labour didn’t do anything about it, NACT was going to be so much better. Right!

    And now we find that for yonks a great number of recidivist drivers have received no assessment, assistance and retraining etc. before they had their licences handed back. What a pathetic country we are – she’ll be right, don’t fuss, can’t have a nanny state (that is an organised community setting reasonable standards on behaviour). We either don’t bother with laws and training for competence and understanding, or we bring in stupid arbitrary ones as in Auckland and fining people who don’t cross a bus lane at the exact (I believe, unmarked) dot on the road.

    • comedy 2.1

      It is undeniable that the pollies are fuckwits

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 2.2

      Same with Collins and gun control. They’ll legislate knives, gang patches and noisy boy racers out of existence (well in theory) but when it comes to stopping unimportant stuff like fire arms they pander to the masses.

  3. jcuknz 3

    The more rules you have the tougher they have to be because there are fewer lives to save?
    It is no laws that make a society a safe sane place but self discipline of its members. Perhaps and I guess most likely alchoholism is a sickness and simply connot be controlled by more laws.
    The proposed law changes seem most sensible to me but then I am a relatively sane sensible person rather than a political animal trying to make hay out of nothing.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    This is the problem with democracy. Politicians make policies to get them voted in next time rather than what is actually the best. What we really need is a beneficial dictatorship. 🙂

    • Richard 4.1

      What we need is a competent media to clearly communicate and critic the effects of government policies. And an educated, informed population that pays attention.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Exactly and we haven’t had one of those since the 1980s when the MSM in this country followed the US ideal for news – infotainment. It tells you nothing and makes you happy to hear it.

        • E. Campbell 4.1.1.1

          Indeed, a questioning and critical media is now largely absent from New Zealand’s political discourse. A thorough examination of this decision, or rather lack of a decision, would be nice but we’re sadly probably not going to get it from the MSM.

    • Craig Glen Eden 4.2

      I am available to fill this role on Fridays I might need a little assistance on the other days of the week.

      PS I don’t need a credit card nor do my assistants.

      PPS mind you I am very important now so maybe the odd sandwhich and flowers on the tax payer aye.

      PPPS I come from a average middle class background I am educated and I am very aspirational.

  5. Andrew 5

    i would like to how many people have been killed, or have serious accidents with a blood alcohol level between 50 and 80mg / 100ml, and if dropping the limit from 80 to 50mg would actually make much of a difference or would just end up with loads more people being prosecuted for no real gain.

    i would have thought that targeting those that were 2, 3, or even 4 times the limit would be a better use of resources, as those are the drivers that are ticking time bombs.

    • Lanthanide 5.1

      The person on NatRad this morning said that reducing it to 50mg/100ml would save 15-33 lives per year, 200-300 injuries and $100m in social harm.

      The AA spokesperson said that when you’re double the legal limit you are 200 times more likely to crash, and it is those people that they should be going after.

    • jbanks 5.2

      Evidence based policy is overrated around here. It’s all about the emotive headlines.

    • Puddleglum 5.3

      “i would like to how many people have been killed, or have serious accidents with a blood alcohol level between 50 and 80mg / 100ml, and if dropping the limit from 80 to 50mg would actually make much of a difference or would just end up with loads more people being prosecuted for no real gain”

      Andrew, I’m not sure there’s much merit in trying to split hairs the way Joyce appears to be suggesting. It would make as much sense to say we should research how many accidents are ’caused’ by the difference between 80 and 100mg with an aim to increasing it if that 20mg proved to have an insignificant or very minor effect. The fact is, this isn’t about the research, it’s about the politics.

      Also, have a look at your sentence above, Andrew, and instead of thinking about road accidents think about the same blood alcohol limit applied to any occupation: airline pilots, checkout operators, forklift drivers, assembly line workers, nurses, doctors, teachers, lawyers in court, etc.. Are you happy for anyone in those occupations to be performing them, habitually, with 80 mg levels of alcohol?

      There probably hasn’t been any New Zealand specific research showing the effects of 80 mg in such settings. Does that therefore mean – and it’s really a question for Joyce – that we should allow those blood alcohol levels in all occupations and perhaps make it illegal for employers to enforce or require ‘no alcohol’ (in terms of blood alcohol levels) in workplace settings on health and safety grounds? After all, on Joyce’s logic it would be an irrational prejudice without evidence to support it and so, presumably, employers would have to wait for a couple of years before the New Zealand specific research was done for their particular kind of workplace before enforcing any type of ban on employees’ blood alcohol levels.

      It’s only because it’s personal driving behaviour that we’re talking about that there’s this curious debate about how much alcohol should be allowed. Yet cars are just as risky as any of the work environments I’ve mentioned – in fact usually much riskier.

      We know everything we need to know about the effects of alcohol on the nervous system. It’s an anaesthetic (euphemistically called a ‘relaxant’). It progressively shuts down more and more of the nervous system right from the ‘get go’. The social relaxation/disinhibition – which is one of the main reasons people give for drinking – is one of the first signs of its effect. It’s related to a more ‘carefree’ attitude to risk (e.g., the ‘risk’ of speaking socially). Loss of our automatic motor control (controlled by the cerebellum) deteriorates just as fast, which is why the old tests of touching your nose with your finger or walking a straight line were used before the bag. Why would we want anyone driving whose nervous system and behaviour is being modified because of a freely chosen behaviour?

      It’s probably impossible to eliminate all contributors to driving risks. But those we can disallow should be disallowed (remember, we’re not talking about banning alcohol in society).

      In the bigger picture, this is just another social pathology that results from the way we organise ourselves. How many of us live within walking distance of our work, our friends, places where people gather for socialising? More and more we have to drive. Why? It didn’t used to be like that. My home town in England still (just) has pubs within easy reach of everyone (by foot) – though pubs are closing down at a great rate even in England with fewer, bigger outlets further from people. I don’t want to harp on, but all roads lead back to the same old rotten Rome, I’m afraid.

  6. prism 6

    For goodness sake we wouldn’t have laws and rules if they weren’t needed because in their absence the self-centred and powerful will dominate others and society becomes chaotic. Personal discipline cannot be relied on completely as you mention jcuknz.

    Laws made to prohibit and force behaviour or denial, that constantly impede us in petty or large ways and that are not accepted by the general population are the ones that become an imposition. Even then sometimes the greater good must prevail. (So I have to give up my wood burner for the sake of cleaner air and climate change, for a more expensive better one if I’m lucky, or have an expensive electric heat exchange that sucks up money along with the air.)

  7. randal 7

    the gubmint is backing down on everything.
    what we have now is gubmint lite.
    as hooton pointed out yesterday on 9-noon ,the gubmint is being run by a pack of juveniles out of kweewee’s office and they haven’t really got a clue about anything.

  8. Herodotus 8

    What is stoppiong some so called community minded polly from placing a private members bill. We have them for abortion changes, S59.”Truth is, Steven Joyce knows that if the drink driving net is widened, lots more people will find themselves in court. Some of those people will look a bit like him. And that won’t win him, or his Party, votes” would not the same be applied to any party (except The Greens). So if that is the case perhaps a better question should be “When is it acceptable to promote and pass laws that upset the voting public at large” We already have had Nanny State, now we are getting in every increasing frequency something similar associated with Nat.
    Or is there some other reason for this posting say attack Nat irrespective of how the MP’s on the left feel.
    This site is for me progressively trending away from what matters to the left to blind support towards Lab. The 2 are not totally compatible, and all this will do is present a weakened Lab and a greater weakening of the Left as the two become ever increasingly associated by many as beingthe same.
    “There seems to be no good reason not to lower the breath-alcohol level,” I thought you answered this, because of the political damage, otherwise get some private members bill that Lab endorses by wipping the crew of Mp’s, thus displaying where Lab stand in solidarity!!

  9. Clarke 9

    Translation of the National government’s policy statements on drink driving into English

    There will be no tolerance for drivers under 20, who will have a zero alcohol limit
    Translation: We have proven research that people under 20 do not vote, so it’s an obvious political win to give the kids a kicking – again. This policy will also result in additional support for National from the knee-jerk rednecks who constitute our rural support base, who regard the yoof as an existential threat to their way of life. We have concluded that there is no political downside to putting the boot in.

    More research is needed before the adult limit is reduced to 0.05
    Translation: Our current research indicates that state of the National Party’s coffers may be adversely affected by a policy that results in people drinking less, as the alcohol merchants will contribute fewer funds for the next election. In addition, a lower drink-drive limit may adversely affect the profitability of the Rugby World Cup for the hospitality sector, which will potentially have a negative impact on their donations to our party. We regard the additional deaths and injuries that will result from this policy a satisfactory social price to pay for our re-election – from a political standpoint, these are an acceptable level of casualties.

    Sentences for deaths and injuries caused by drink drivers will be increased
    Translation: Research indicates that our imprisonment rate is only the second highest in the western world, and our aspirations are larger than that. This policy will further increase the number of people in jail – a stated aim of this government – and will contribute to a higher level of profitability for the private prison sector. We think there are possible flow-on benefits that may result from prison companies making higher contributions to our funds for next year’s election.

  10. Bill 10

    Not defending drink driving in any way, shape or form. But drink driving is symptomatic of larger problems.

    Not so long ago it was possible and normal for people to transport themselves to pubs, or wherever, and back without the use of cars.

    But with the car came ever increasing distances between people and utilities alongside fewer and fewer public transport options. (The supermarket is usually a drive away as opposed to the short walk away that the local shops used to be. And there will often not be a bus option.)

    Meanwhile, as greater distance has become the norm, local facilities and activities have shut down. Including, but not limited to pubs.

    So we live in a social culture that to a large extent and for better or worse, revolves around alcohol consumption and yet our access to alcohol (and so, to some degree, society) has become increasingly problematic.

    Where I lived, it used to be common to walk for up to an hour or even more to get to the pub and walk the same distance back home. (Taxis were a very rarely used option) Not any more. We are convinced the streets are unsafe…and they kind of are because we don’t populate them any more. And our sense of normality has shifted so that anybody walking for an hour to meet up at the pub would we considered a peculiar individual.

    So I wonder if we are destined to shut ourselves behind the walls of our total entertainment centre homes and contribute even more to the break down of our society?

    • js 10.1

      This is where the “wowsers” arguments come from.

      “Someone is stopping me getting to a beer easily, so instead of getting off my fat, lazy, surround-sound ass, it is they who are wowsers trying to reduce my quality of life.”

  11. js 11

    One thing is certain: When pushed, Kiwis will risk death, theirs or someone else, in exchange for being able to drive home after a couple of beers. Someone mentioned juveniles.

  12. randal 12

    right on bill.
    you got it in one but what matters most is how much money you spend and if it goes to the justice industry then so be it.

  13. Bill 13

    How many glasses of wine translates to 80mg/100ml and how many to 50mg/100ml and what impact would the difference make to the sales and profit margins of the wine industry?

    Any figures on how many glasses of wine are sold at on-licences…particularly restaurants?

    Would those sales be roughly cut in half with an approximate halving of alcohol/blood levels?

    Hmm, I take it that Johnny Boy took absolutely nothing to do with this cabinet decision given his interest in (forgetitsname) winery and the potential big hit on its profit margins were blood/alcohol levels to be reduced?

  14. aj 14

    Look for Key to get shares in Taxi Companys. It will mean he’s about to reduce the limit to zero

  15. Pat 15

    Think how many lives could have been saved:

    “Lower drink-drive limits abandoned
    Published: 6:31PM Tuesday December 16, 2003”

    “An attempt to lower legal blood alcohol levels for drivers and introduce hidden speed cameras has been abandoned after Transport Minister Paul Swain failed to get enough support for the move.

    Swain had hoped to cut the legal blood alcohol level from 80 milligrams to 50 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood – a move that he claimed would save 14 lives each year.

    But on Tuesday, facing opposition from cabinet colleagues and the public, he admitted defeat.

    “It is clear from work that’s been done, that there is not widespread support in the community for this measure,” Swain said.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/content/243441/423466/article.html

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    Because drink driving is the common man’s crime one that, among well-to-do middle class people, looms larger than most other criminal offences. This is why Steven Joyce has decided to stall legislative change

    As opposed to doing 10km/h an hour over the limit? I know anecdotes don’t equal evidence but the vast majority of the people I speak to on law ‘n’ order issues (more than most people, I suspect) fume and rail against petty speed enforcement and have been caught by it themselves. They have not, however, driven drunk and support efforts to reduce it.

    I suggest that if you asked any group of people gathered anywhere but around the table of some “road safety” lobby group you’d get a similar response.

    So if it’s all driven by a fear of offending the “common man” can we expect an order to go out to the plods to set the margins on their speed cameras to a reasonable level, and to hand out warnings on the first one or two occasions rather than reflexively reaching for the ticket book?

    Because if we can, bloody good job, I say.

    • felix 16.1

      I’d like to see the plods set the margins on their cameras to sensible levels too.

      I propose 50kmph around town and 100kmph on the open road in accordance with the speed limit.

      • Mac1 16.1.1

        Amen, Felix. The limit is the limit. I have students who come into my classes and ask when they are late. They of course are wanting to know when the guillotine descends. I tell ’em. The bell is the bell. After that you’re late. Few are late. They just want to know where the boundaries actually lie..

        Speeders are the same. Tell ’em the limit is the limit. It’s not hard to fathom.

        I think de facto speed limits set by speed cameras are stupid. And they deny basic human instincts to push the boundaries. “But I was just over…..”

      • Draco T Bastard 16.1.2

        Actually, the reason the cameras aren’t set to that already is because of limits on the devices. They’re not 100% accurate. Back when the +10km/h was set they were considered to be accurate to +- 7km/h. I assume that they’ve gotten better since which is the real driver for dropping the margin from 10km/h to 5km/h.

        Average car speedometers have also improved as the older vehicles disappear from the roads.

        • Mac1 16.1.2.1

          Thanks, Draco, for the explanation. Could a speedometer be checked and even recalibrated in the WOF process for a more accurate reading, I wonder?

          • jcuknz 16.1.2.1.1

            Oh NO not another ‘little’ thing added to the WOF test. Actually I know that my speedo is reading slightly under becuase of the trailer speed cameras which read back at 48k when my speedo reads 50k. Only problem is will it be similar at 100k? Is that a sufficiently good excuse? 🙂 My bathroom scales are set at 11kg to read the same weight as my doctor’s scales at 90kg. I think only specialised garages have speedo testing gear, I’ve see it on TV but not at any garage I’ve frequented.
            When I was in Colorado a few years back I found they didn’t have WOF tests like us but rather emmission testing, for cars built after 1992. For once I thought they had their priorities right.
            I had to take the car to a building much like testing stations here and they put fans up against the radiator to avoid over heating as they ran the engine and we the public where confined to a waiting room. They thought that cars built pre-1992 were too few and too far gone to bother about.

        • Armchair Critic 16.1.2.2

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speedometer#Error
          There will always be some error. GPS provides a good second opinion and by staying below the posted limits on both the car speedo and the GPS I’ve been pretty successful at avoiding a third opinion from the law.

          • Herodotus 16.1.2.2.1

            When towing on the open road the speed limit is 90km (light & heavy vehicle) the current form of policing does not recogise theis in operation, as speed cameras do not differentiate the vehicle approaching if it is towing or not. So we see in practice another example of the transport industry “getting away” without complying to the rules. Many truck and trailer units I have had difficulty in keeping up with them in my Toyota copy of a Ferrari just over the 100km mark on the Desert Rd. S is there a rule for them and another for us?
            http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-limits/speed-limits.html

            • jcuknz 16.1.2.2.1.1

              Once I overtook a articulated petrol tanker, obviously returning empty to base, and had a real problem getting past. Now I might pass them when there are two lanes going up a hill but really they have far more grunt than what I have and I ease over so they can overtake me when they catch up with me again.

      • burt 16.1.3

        felix

        Why not just ticket directly from the vehicle management system once every second for every second over the limit? Hell man you want draconian and you are relying on a physically limited number of sampling points, off ya game toning, have you been drinking?

        • loota 16.1.3.1

          I’m pretty sure every city council in NZ will be rolling out computer recognition parking meter systems, where your movements and number plate is automatically recorded, if you stay in a P30 one minute over time an automated fine will be issued against your registration (no more parking wardens on mopeds needed), if you stay in a metered spot and your time runs out by more than a minute, an automated fine will be issued against your registration…and of course Council staffers will be able to record and track your movements around the city centre any time of day or night.

          Fun and games.

        • felix 16.1.3.2

          Gidday burt,

          If that’s possible, then why not? I’m so sick of people complaining that they get ticketed for being “just a few ks over” which usually turns out to be a few ks over 110.

          Call me old fashioned but 100k is not supposed to be an average, or a target, or a guideline. You shouldn’t be driving at 100k, you should always be under 100k.

  17. tc 17

    I find it intruiging that this NACT gov’t always grasps at opportunities to get tough on crime, road issues (banning phones) and other areas like welfare, industrial relations etc etc

    But issues around alchohol, be it raising excise or in this case discouraging consumption are pushed back, against all international evidence, as ‘needing further research’.

    Methinks that further research involves evaluating the impact on their investments and their backers agendas…….sod the great unwashed we may upset our backers appears a better motive.

    Love that selective choice of issues that require ‘more debate’…..mining/ACC/3 strikes etc didn’t need it did they to name a few. Joyce’s just the bloke to front this sham he loves it.

  18. Reality Check 18

    “So, National has failed to act on drink driving.”

    And in 8 years in government Labour did what to reduce the drink driving? a lot LESS then what national is doing.

    Before we go claiming that the Nats have failed, lets look in our own camp and see where we failed?

    • jbanks 18.1

      “It’s a bit rich for a government…that didn’t even bother commissioning the report, to be arguing we should be doing something.”

  19. Sarge 19

    I’ve got a good question. Can anyone tell me the number of crashes caused annually by drivers with a BAC between 0.5 and 0.8, ie. is there any evidence that this law will make the blindest bit of difference?? Cause I don’t know about you, but I like to base law making on facts and figures.

    • lprent 19.1

      At present the police don’t collect that data. In fact they’re prohibited by law from acquiring it. The only good aspect of this proposed legislation is that they will start collecting that data now.

      However there is quite a lot of clinical evidence from both here and overseas that shows peoples reaction times decreasing with almost any amount of alcohol in their system. Almost any other factors (like tiredness, age etc) that also slow reaction times are accentuated by almost any amount of booze in their systems.

      In the countries where the permissible BAC has been lowered, there have also been drops in crashes, and particularly in fatal crashes.

      Seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me (and I haven’t been drinking)….

      • Herodotus 19.1.1

        “In the countries where the permissible BAC has been lowered, there have also been drops in crashes, and particularly in fatal crashes.” IPRENT could this also be part attributable to the efforts car makers have made in protecting the driver and passangers, e.g.seatbelts from the 1980’s, side intrusion bars, air bags and the increased effort and skill in our medical field, the magic hour, helicopters and all that. As we all know the same stats can support both sides of an arguement !!!!
        What gets me is some of the underlying stats 1% of our pop get convicted from drink offense. Also wonder what the nos are of 2,3,4,5 … times people receive convictions. We cannot even cope with the 80 level, policing and the court system. What additional costs and resources are required to adequately police the current law?

      • jcuknz 19.1.2

        I was interested to hear the Aussie AA man on NatRad tonight, where some are agitating for the 5 be reduced to 2, being pretty non-commital over the benefits of reducing 8>5. I guess it depends on what you believe and what you read.
        The other comment I read was that many of us who are careful to make sure we don’t go over the 8 limit would be under the 5 if it was adopted. It is just the uncertainty of this that makes me against any change.
        The uncertainty as I mix a Gin and It by eye, how much wine and how much gin, topped up with tonic to make a long drink … sorry I don’t want to risk my licence. Even though I know it usually has less effect on me than a stubbie. I know that’s personal and not scientific but its how I feel.

  20. coolas 20

    Close Up poll tonight had 68% of 17.000 supporting reduction

    U turn by lunchtime?

    • Bill 20.1

      Yes, a U-Turn.

      Except it ain’t really a U-Turn. It’s just a bullshit game of manufactured perceptions.

      We know they wanted to mine. They tried to sell non-mining (at least on S4) back to us as them being responsive to our concerns….a pragmatic, caring and listening government.

      We know they are in bed with (or are the bed of) the alcohol industry. And they know they have no option but to lower limits. But first they don’t….. and then they do….because they listened (apparently).

      So you see how they propose impossible bad shit but back down (apparently) due to popular demand? And you see how that makes them responsive…a listening government to someone who isn’t paying close attention?

      And you see how that gives them a punt at a second term which gives the mandate to roll?

      Cunning little…

    • jcuknz 20.2

      Obviously the workers are overpaid, wasting their money on Television polls, and will moan when the bill arives at the end of the month.

    • jbanks 20.3

      So a ‘close up poll’ is a legitimate alternative to research as a means to justify a policy change?

      You’re doing it wrong.

  21. Bill 21

    What’s the limit for dak?

    Or methadone…which many people drive to the chemist to get and consume…. and drive back home or to work on?

    Or speed?

    Or coke?

    Or whatever other drug?

    Any legality/illegality argument cannot hold water when methadone is taken into consideration.

    And tendency of drug to incapacitate would seem unsustainable given that alcohol is one of the most irredeemably incapacitating drugs around…maybe with the exception of some downers.

  22. Rharn 22

    Key’s back down is nothing more than a sop to the liquor industry. The two year gap for bringing the public ‘along’ has more to do with allowing the industry to restructure the price of liquor so as to minimise the loss in profit that the reforms will cause to the bottomline.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Foreign Minister announces two diplomatic appointments
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced two diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India and Consul-General to Hong Kong. “As New Zealand recovers from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever. That is ...
    1 day ago
  • Week That Was: Recover and rebuild
    We started the week by announcing free apprenticeships to support Kiwis into work and to help get New Zealand moving again - and we ended the week by extending the wage subsidy to 40,000 more businesses, helping to protect businesses and workers alike.  ...
    1 day ago
  • How Budget 2020 is backing businesses
    We’re confident in the ability of Kiwi businesses to succeed in the face of COVID-19, and our Government is committed to doing our bit to enable that success. Kiwi businesses have always been innovative and resilient, and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven this yet again. Many businesses are finding new, creative ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand First confirms its first tranche of candidates
    New Zealand First is pleased to release the names of its first tranche of candidates for the 2020 election. The includes all sitting New Zealand First Members of Parliament except Clayton Mitchell MP who earlier today announced he will not be seeking re-election. In alphabetical order they are: MP ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell not seeking re-election
    Clayton Mitchell MP, New Zealand First List MP based in Tauranga New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell has decided not to seek re-election in this year’s General Election.  “After serious consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to pursue other passions in my life and spend a lot ...
    1 day ago
  • Five new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft to replace ageing fleet
    Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced that new Lockheed Martin Super Hercules aircraft would replace the outdated and costly 1960s Hercules fleet. The $1.521b project will include a flight simulator for staff training and other supporting infrastructure. "This fleet will ensure the Defence Force can continue to support New Zealand's ...
    1 day ago
  • Greens urge police to rule out armed police patrols following George Floyd’s death
    The Green Party is urging the New Zealand Police to rule out the use of Armed Response Teams, following their recent trial in communities around Aotearoa. ...
    1 day ago
  • NZ First fought for changes to “poorly-targeted” rent dispute policy
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Labour's original COVID-19 commercial rent dispute proposal as "poorly targeted". Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced a temporary law change to force commercial landlords and renters to consider COVID-19 in disputes over rent issues, almost two months after the Government first floated the idea.  But ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First ensures commercial rent dispute clause fairly applied
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First acknowledges that some small businesses have been struggling to meet fixed costs due to the loss of revenue by COVID-19. We also know some businesses are at greater risk of insolvency when they cannot come to a reasonable ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand First disappointed that Section 70 spouses won’t get relief
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First is disappointed that the removal of the spousal deductions has had to be delayed by the Ministry fo Social Development, due to COVID19 workload pressures. “New Zealand First has always stood for fairness when it comes to superannuation ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters receives petition demanding more protection for nurses
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First On the steps of Parliament today the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters received a petition from registered nurse Anna Maria Coervers, requesting an amendment to the Protection for First Responders Bill which will ensure the legislation also include registered ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Getting our economy moving
    It's been a busy seven days as we start to rebuild New Zealand together. From delivering extra support for small businesses, to investing in our artists and arts organisations, to cutting red tape on home DIY projects, we're rolling out our plan to get the economy and New Zealand moving ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: If protests condoned ‘why are we not at level 1?’
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says alert level 2 restrictions have to be discussed during today's Cabinet meeting. Thousands gathered across the country, including at Parliament, yesterday for Black Lives Matter marches where social distancing and mass gathering rules were flouted. Mr Peters said the breaching of Alert Level 2 rules at ...
    5 days ago
  • Northland rail work to help create regional jobs
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Owned Enterprises KiwiRail’s Northland rail upgrade steps up another gear today and will help Northland recover from the impacts of COVID-19, State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters says. The Government is investing $204.5 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to ...
    5 days ago
  • Green Party statement on the death of George Floyd
    “Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama Davidson. ...
    5 days ago
  • Lake Brunner’s Mount Te Kinga to go Predator Free
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Hon Eugenie Sage, Minister of Conservation The West Coast forests of Mount Te Kinga at Kotuku Whakaoho/Lake Brunner are the latest predator free project to receive Government funding, announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    1 week ago
  • Green Party welcomes crucial financial support for creatives
    The Green Party says new government support for creatives and artists is a vital lifeline for a sector struggling to survive the COVID crisis. ...
    1 week ago
  • Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation
    The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next generation can swim in the rivers of Aotearoa. ...
    1 week ago
  • Greens work to secure inquiry into Wild West student accommodation sector
    The Green Party has begun the process for a Select Committee inquiry into student accommodation, which has been exposed during COVID-19 as an under-regulated sector that straddles students with unfair debt. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins global search for COVID-19 vaccine
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Megan Woods, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Health Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods,  and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Budget 2020: Five things to know
    Budget 2020 is about rebuilding together, supporting jobs, getting business moving and the books back into the black. It’s an integral part of our COVID-19 economic response, and our plan to grow our economy and get New Zealand moving again. Here’s a quick look at the five top things you ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party unveils its candidate list for the 2020 election
    The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government approves essential upgrades on Ōhakea Air Base
    The Coalition Government has approved $206 million in essential upgrades at Ōhakea Air Base.  Defence Minister Ron Mark said the money would be spent on improving old infrastructure. He said safety issues would be addressed, as well as upgrades to taxiways, accommodation and fresh, storm and waste water systems. "This ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Attributable to the Rt Hon Winston Peters
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First “I am not persisting with this case just for myself, but for all people who have had their privacy breached. Privacy of information is a cornerstone of our country’s democracy. Without it our society truly faces a bleak future. We now ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    Hon Tracey Martin, Minister for Children A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Forestry Minister Shane Jones moves to protect sawmills
    Forestry Minister Shane Jones has introduced a Bill to Parliament that he says will "force more transparency, integrity and respect" for the domestic wood-processing sector through the registration of log traders and practice standards. The Forests (Regulation of Log Traders and Forestry Advisers) Amendment Bill had its first reading in ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Great Walks bookings open next week
    This summer presents a great opportunity for New Zealanders to get out into nature with bookings on Great Walks for 2020/21 set to open next week, says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  Bookings for the Great Walks will open between 9 and 11 June, excluding Milford and Routeburn tracks which ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Ministerial Diary April 2020
    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt extends support schemes for businesses
    Extra 40,000 businesses to be eligible for wage subsidy extension Small business cashflow support application period extended The Government is today announcing further support for businesses that continue to be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as the broader economy becomes one of the most open in the world following ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Five new Super Hercules to join Air Force fleet
    The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today.  “Last year, Cabinet selected these aircraft as the preferred option to replace the current Hercules fleet. Procurement of the Super Hercules has been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Wairarapa Moana seeks international recognition as vital wetland
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage is celebrating World Environment Day with an announcement of a major step towards Wairarapa Moana being recognised as an internationally significant wetland. “Wairarapa Moana is an ecosystem of 10,000 hectares of wetland and open water that provides a home for indigenous fish, birds and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New public housing sets standard for future
    New public housing that will save tenants money in energy bills, and provide warmer, healthier and more comfortable homes, is setting the standard for the Government’s future public housing programme, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. Dr Woods opened the new Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities complex, which has a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • First Police wing to complete training post lockdown
    A new-look Police graduation ceremony to take account of COVID19 health rules has marked the completion of training for 57 new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash attended this afternoon's ceremony, where officers of Recruit Wing 337 were formally sworn in at the Royal New Zealand Police College without the normal support of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government makes further inroads on predatory lenders
    Mobile traders and truck shops must adhere to responsible lending requirements Interest rate cap on high-cost loans Lenders prohibited from offering further credit to an applicant who has taken two high-cost loans in the past 90 days The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Kris Faafoi, has signalled an end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New survey shows wage subsidy a “lifeline” for businesses, saved jobs
    94% of firms say wage subsidy had positive impact on cashflow 62% of firms say support helped to manage non-wage costs like rent A survey of business that have received the Government’s wage subsidy show it has played a significant role in saving jobs, and freed up cash flow to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax changes support economic recovery
    New legislation introduced to Parliament today will support growth and assist businesses on the road to economic recovery, said Revenue Minister Stuart Nash. “The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill proposes that businesses can get tax deductions for ‘feasibility expenditure’ on new investments,” said Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $4.6 million financial relief for professional sports
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has welcomed the first release of funds from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced as part of Budget 2020. Sport NZ has announced that $4.6 million in funding will go to the Wellington Phoenix, NZ Warriors, Super Rugby teams and the ANZ Premiership ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Critical support for strategic tourism assets
    An iconic New Zealand tourism attraction and the country’s 31 Regional Tourism Organisations are the first recipients of support from the $400 million Tourism Sector Recovery Plan, to help position the sector for recovery from COVID-19, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. The plan includes a Strategic Tourism Assets Protection ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve commercial rent disputes
    The Government will legislate to ensure businesses that suffered as a result of the COVID-19 response will get help to resolve disputes over commercial rent issues, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today. A temporary amendment to the Property Law Act will insert a clause in commercial leases requiring a fair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prompt payments to SMEs even more urgent
    The Minister for Small Business says new data from Xero highlights the urgency of prompt payment practices to small and medium enterprises as we move into economic recovery. Last month Government ministers wrote to significant private enterprises and the banking industry to request they join efforts by government agencies to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Free period products in schools to combat poverty
    Young people in Waikato will be the first to have free access to period products in schools in another step to support children and young people in poverty,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.  During term 3, the Ministry of Education will begin providing free period products to schools following the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Response to charges in New Plymouth
    The Minister of Police Stuart Nash has issued the following statement in response to charges filed against three Police officers this morning in the New Plymouth District Court. “Any incident involving a loss of life in Police custody is taken very seriously. The charges today reflect the gravity of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Govt boosts innovation, R&D for economic rebuild
    $196 million for Crown Research Institutes $150 million for R&D loan scheme $33 million for Māori research and development opportunities $12 million for the Nationally Significant Collections and Databases $10 million to help maintain in-house capability at Callaghan Innovation New Zealand’s entrepreneurs, innovators and crown researchers will benefit from a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance this year
    Further temporary changes to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) will support senior secondary school students whose teaching and learning have been disrupted by COVID-19. “The wellbeing of students and teachers is a priority. As we are all aware, COVID-19 has created massive disruption to the school system, and the Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Extended terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency
    Minister for Racing Winston Peters today announced that the terms for the directors of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) have been extended to 30 June 2021. Due to the COVID-19 crisis the transition period has been extended to ensure that the Racing Industry Bill can complete its progress through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Healthy Homes Standards statement of compliance deadline extended
    The deadline for landlords to include detailed information in their tenancy agreements about how their property meets the Healthy Homes Standards, so tenants can see the home they are renting is compliant, has been extended from 1 July 2020 to 1 December 2020.  The Healthy Homes Standards became law on 1 July 2019. The Standards are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission board appointments announced
    Justice Minister Andrew Little today announced details of further appointments to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. “I am pleased to announce Paula Rose QSO OStJ as Deputy Chief Commissioner for a term of five years commencing on 15 June 2020,” said Andrew Little. “I am also pleased to announce the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Release of initial list of supported training to aid COVID-19 recovery
    The Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF) will pay costs of learners of all ages to undertake vocational education and training The fund will target support for areas of study and training that will give learners better employment prospects as New Zealand recovers from COVID-19 Apprentices working in all industries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Emission trading reforms another step to meeting climate targets
    The Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will finally start to cut New Zealand’s greenhouse gas pollution as it was originally intended to, because of changes announced today by the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw. The changes include a limit on the total emissions allowed within the ETS, rules to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours highlights Pacific leadership capability in Aotearoa
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List provides an abundance of examples that Pacific people’s leadership capability is unquestionable in Aotearoa. “The work and the individuals we acknowledge this year highlights the kind of visionary examples and dedicated community leadership that we need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt backing horticulture to succeed
    The Government is backing a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production and New Zealand’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our economy. During and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Applications open for forestry scholarships
    Applications have opened for 2021 Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships, which will support more Māori and women to pursue careers in forestry science, says Forestry Minister Shane Jones. “I’m delighted Te Uru Rākau is offering Ngā Karahipi Uru Rākau – Forestry Scholarships for the third year running. These ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Excellent service to nature recognised
    The Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List once again highlights the dedication by many to looking after our native plants and wildlife, including incredible work to restore the populations of critically endangered birds says Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. Anne Richardson of Hororata has been made an Officer of the New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Wetlands and waterways gain from 1BT funding
    The Government will invest $10 million from the One Billion Trees Fund for large-scale planting to provide jobs in communities and improve the environment, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Forestry Minister Shane Jones have announced. New, more flexible funding criteria for applications will help up to 10 catchment groups plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New fund for women now open
    Organisations that support women are invited to apply to a new $1,000,000 fund as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response. “We know women, and organisations that support women, have been affected by COVID-19. This new money will ensure funding for groups that support women and women’s rights,” said Minister for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt supports King Country farmers to lift freshwater quality
    Healthier waterways are front and centre in a new project involving more than 300 King Country sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Government is investing $844,000 in King Country River Care, a group that helps farmers to lift freshwater quality and farming practice, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “Yesterday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Libraries to help with jobs and community recovery
    A major funding package for libraries will allow them to play a far greater role in supporting their communities and people seeking jobs as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19. “Budget 2020 contains over $60 million of funding to protect library services and to protect jobs,” says Internal Affairs ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Support for arts and music sector recovery
    A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package in a crucial economic boost to support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Legislative changes to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families
    Minister for Veterans Ron Mark has welcomed the First Reading of a Bill that will make legislative changes to further improve the veterans’ support system.  The Veterans’ Support Amendment Bill No 2, which will amend the Veterans’ Support Act 2014, passed First Reading today. The bill addresses a number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Christ Church Cathedral – Order in Council
    Views sought on Order in Council to help fast track the reinstatement of the Christ Church Cathedral  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Poto Williams, will be seeking public written comment, following Cabinet approving the drafting of an Order in Council aimed at fast-tracking the reinstatement of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago