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

 


Bungled law behind public backlash over legal highs

Bungled law behind public backlash over legal highs


The public backlash against the Government’s attempt to regulate legal highs was inevitable after it bungled the implementation of the Psychoactive Substances Act, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“One of the biggest oversights was failing to consult with local councils about their role in regulating legal highs. If the select committee considering the law had been given adequate time it could have worked with Local Government New Zealand on ways it could be implemented. Instead the onus of regulating the location of legal high stores came as a bolt out of the blue for mayors and their councils.

“The Government has also failed to properly resource the Ministry of Health to implement the new law. Just six people have been assigned to the tasks of granting interim licences, monitoring complaints about products and stores, drawing up and consulting on new regulations, developing the approval process for testing legal highs and deciding which products need to be recalled.

“There are still products legally available that pose more than a low level of risk because the Ministry can neither process the complaints it receives nor make fast enough progress on establishing the approval regime with the limited resources it has.

“However, that shouldn’t stop people making complaints about products they have concerns about.

“The Government chose not to prioritise passing the Psychoactive Substances Act. When the temporary ban notices that got rid of products like Kronic and K2 were introduced in August 2011, National had two years to get the new law in place and to consult with communities about its implementation.

“But it waited until the last possible moment, only introducing the new legislation in February 2013. Astonishingly, the Bill then sat in Parliament until April 2013 before it received its First Reading, just four months before the temporary ban notices were due to run out.

“Labour warned Peter Dunne that rushing the legislation was a mistake and that Parliament would have to come back to this issue because the legislation was poorly drafted.

“Labour is committed to continuing the review of drug law carried out by the Law Commission. That will include introducing a replacement to the Misuse of Drugs Act, something that Peter Dunne promised to do in this term of Parliament but has failed to deliver,” Iain Lees-Galloway says.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ.

Cunliffe marshalled his points better, kept Key off balance and – more often than not – was in control of the general tenor of the contest. Labour supporters would have been heartened, and given some belated reassurance that maybe the change of leadership last year had been the right decision. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Gordon Campbell: On Winston Peters' Latest Bout Of Immigrant Bashing

It is only one poll, but rather than cannibalising each other's vote, Colin Craig and Winston Peters do seem to be managing to find the room to co-exist... Few are questioning how Peters got to this happy place, and what it says about the mood of the electorate. More>>

ALSO:

More Immigration News: First People Trafficking Charges

The first people trafficking charges in New Zealand have been brought by Immigration New Zealand (INZ)... The defendants have been charged under the Crimes Act 1961 for arranging by deception the entry of 18 Indian nationals into New Zealand. More>>

Collins 'Misinterprets Media Reports': "Too Compromised To Remain Justice Minister"

Bizarre claims by Judith Collins this morning that she had been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by the Privacy Commissioner demonstrates she is too compromised to remain Justice Minister, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour On Climate Change: Focus On The Now For The Future

A Labour Government will put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on both mitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission and implement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Housing Assistance Plan

So, as many as 90,000 people could derive some benefit from National’s housing assistance plans for low and middle-income earners... Yet in reality, the benefits seem likely to be insignificant, and they will be skewed towards those at the top end of the income group that’s supposedly the target. More>>

ALSO:

Election Data Consortium: National’s Worst Case Scenario At Stage One?

A month out from the general election and ipredict traders are still forecasting National’s vote to slip below current polling levels and there is potential for it to fall further. More>>

ALSO:

From The Scoop Video Archive: PM Says SIS "Told Me" About OIA Release

In a press conference immediately following an controversial OIA release of notes on an SIS briefing to then Labour leader Phil Goff, Key said "at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ...". Since the release of Nicky Hager's 'Dirty Politics' Key has denied being personally informed and said references by officials to 'the PM' being told briefed referred to his office. He now says the same about his own statement. More>>

ALSO:

  • Scoop Video in the news - New questions over Key claims | NZ Herald News - Stuff.co.nz
  • Earlier - Felix Marwick: Laying out facts over SIS documents - Newstalk ZB
  • Labour - Director’s letter contradicts Key’s claims
  • ACT - The Letter - 26 days to go
  • TV3 Video - Housing issue nudges Dirty Politics aside - David Cunliffe: Key's SIS explanation 'defies belief' - SIS leak came from Key's Office - Goff - Key 'categorically denies' Slater OIA discussion - Video: Key faces more Dirty Politics questions

  • TVNZ - Winston Peters: ‘Dirty Politics' is a new low
  • The Nation - Debate Between Grant Robertson And Russel Norman
  • NZ First - “The Words Mean What I Say They Mean”
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news