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Test of the Smokefree Amendment Act

April 21, 2005

WIN Party leader welcomes first test of the Smokefree Amendment Act

The leader of the soon to be registered WIN Party, John Van Buren, today welcomed the opportunity to defend charges laid against him under the recent Smokefree Amendment Act, describing the case as the first real test of the soundness of the legislation.

“I will defend the charges vigorously,” he said.

“The legislation is inherently flawed and its implementation has been applied unfairly. Despite taking what I understood to be all reasonable steps to remove smokers from my establishment I have still had legal action taken against me. Unclear guidelines and the expectation that bar proprietors should be ‘their brothers’ keepers’ is inconsistent with what most New Zealanders would consider fair and unreasonable.

“The WIN Party maintains that the Smokefree Amendment Act is just another example of the nanny state that New Zealand has become, where increasingly her citizens are being told they are unable to make their own choices, unable to live their own lives. There will be more proprietors charged under this legislation – charged because normal New Zealanders choose to defy being dictated to – the downside being that it is bar owners that will be the ones to pay the price.”

Van Buren said that the documentation required for the WIN Party to become registered has been submitted and that New Zealand’s newest political party would be launched in approximately four to six weeks.

“This is not just about smoking in public. I initially went public with my views on the Smokefree Amendment Act, but the act is just one example of the current Government’s social engineering and dictatorial approach. I respect New Zealanders. I believe that we are all capable of making our own decisions, making important choices on behalf of our families,” he said.

“That’s what the WIN Party stands for – the return of true democracy to New Zealand, empowering New Zealanders by allowing them to take responsibility for their own futures.”


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