Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Free trade deals delay public health initiative

19 February, 2013

Free trade deals delay public health initiative

The positive health initiative of introducing plain packaging for cigarettes is being undone by the Government’s free trade obsession, Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.

New Zealand will follow Australia and legislate to allow for mandatory plain packaging of tobacco products. The regulations to implement the law will not be activated until the conclusion of cases filed under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules against Australia for its plain packaging regime.

“Plain packaging is a great public health initiative as it stops tobacco companies getting around the law to stop them advertising,” said Mr Hague.

“Their product kills – and the Government should do all it can to stop them ensnaring New Zealanders into this costly and deadly habit.

“The decision to wait until legal cases taken against Australia are concluded is however very disappointing.

“Legislation that could save lives is being postponed because of the risk of New Zealand being sued due to free trade agreements we have signed in the past.”

The Green Party is also concerned about the impact the investor-state dispute procedure proposed in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would have on New Zealand’s ability to protect the health of its citizens. Australia has resisted the investor-state dispute procedure being included during its negotiations on the TPP.

“Big tobacco is using existing trade rules against Australia.” Mr Hague said.

“Signing up to the investor state dispute resolution parts of the TPP will further expose New Zealand to the risk of being sued by multi-national corporations seeking to influence our public health policies.

“The Key Government needs to protect the health of its citizens and should therefore refuse to sign agreements that constrain New Zealand’s right to legislate for the sake of our health and environment.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news