Parliament

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

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election