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

'Delivering': Joyce On Budget 2017

The new operating investment in Budget 2017 includes:

· Investing in a Growing Economy – $1 billion over four years to keep building a sustainable growing economy, including a further $373 million in the Innovative New Zealand Programme.

· Building Public Services - $7 billion over four years to deliver the public services for a growing country...

A key part of the Budget is a $2 billion a year Family Incomes Package, which is designed to provide better rewards for hard work, to help families with young children meet their living costs, and improve incomes for those struggling with high housing costs. More>>

 

Auditor-General Stands Down For Investigation: Gordon Campbell On (Not) Taking Responsibility

So Martin Matthews, our current Auditor-General wishes he could have detected “earlier” the fraud that occurred on his watch at the Ministry of Transport. Hmmm. But he could have detected it earlier, surely? That’s the point. More>>

ALSO:

NGOs Pleased: Govt To Halt Collection Of Client Data

Brenda Pilott, the chair of ComVoices and national manager of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, congratulates the government on its decision to call a halt to the collection of individual client data until the concerns of not-for-profit service providers have been worked through. More>>

ALSO:

Gosh: Blasphemy Law Repeal Struck Down

Chris Hipkins, the MP who tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to add our Blasphemy Law to the Statutes Repeal Bill, said this was a "sad day for freedom of speech, tolerance, and leadership". More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Navy’s Dealings With Fat Leonard, And Twin Peaks

At an official level, our “she’ll be right” attitude routinely spills over into a keen resentment of anyone who suggests the outcomes may be less than satisfactory… The Navy has now gone one step beyond. It won’t even ask itself whether it did a good job. More>>

ALSO:

NZDF: Fifth Rotation Of Troops Heads To Iraq

The fifth rotation of New Zealand Defence Force troops left today for a six-month mission training Iraqi soldiers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Demonising Of Iran

Will New Zealand still be willing to pursue its recent trade overtures to Iran, now that US President Donald Trump has used his speech in Riyadh to single out Iran as the main source of terrorism and instability in the Middle East? More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 

Opening The Election Supporters

 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election