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Turia welcomes Australian Court Decision on plain packaging

Hon Tariana Turia
Associate Minister of Health

15 August 2012 Media Statement

Minister welcomes Australian High Court Decision on plain packaging of tobacco products

Associate Minister of Health, Hon Tariana Turia has welcomed the decision of the Australian High Court on intellectual property in relation to plain packaging of tobacco products. In what is commonly recognised as a landmark case the Court has found in favour of the Australian Government.

Mrs Turia said “we have been watching the developments in Australia with huge interest, and we are extremely pleased that the decision now confirms that Australia’s plain packaging regime is justified and conforms with the Australian constitution.”

“The High Court case has been seen as the first real test of the legal argument that plain packaging is a justified extension of long-running regulation of tobacco products in pursuit of public health goals, and does not diminish the property of the tobacco companies.”

“This is more than just a victory for the Australian government, I think it is a global victory for those who have lost their lives to smoking, for their families and their communities. This sends a strong statement that Governments do have the right to develop legislation within their own territories.”

“We are currently engaged in our own consultation process with a view to introducing plain packaging in New Zealand. While we have different domestic laws to our Australian neighbours, it does give us a greater sense of security as we move through our consultation process.”

Mrs Turia said “I just think it’s fantastic. I commend the Australian Government for having the courage and fortitude to move forward with their plain packaging policy.”

‘I look forward to the completion of our own consultation process on plain packaging, and to hear the views of New Zealanders on this very important public health measure.”

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