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HANZ appalled at $2m funding to anti-smoking lobby

HANZ appalled at $2m funding to anti-smoking lobby

The news that anti-smoking protagonists have received a $2 million grant to fund their lobbying has angered and surprised the Hospitality Association of New Zealand.

“There is conclusive evidence that ventilation systems effectively deal to the air pollution problem but the closed mind the government has on the subject is hammered home with the huge amount of money they are putting behind the banning of smoking altogether in places like bars,” says Bruce Robertson, chief executive of the Hospitality Association.

He says that government funding to the supporters of the smoke-free bill brings the whole process of considering the Smoke-free Environments Enhancement Bill into disrepute.

“The bill should now be referred back to the select committee for reconsideration with an open mind, rather than the prevailing attitude whereby the government obviously has a fixed view on the subject and either will not or cannot listen to reasoned argument,” says Mr Robertson.

He says that the $2 million funding to the opponents of freedom of choice on smoking casts doubt on the government’s commitment to the democratic process.

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