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Back to where the fight began

Back to where the fight began

On Thursday 1 September, WIN Party leader and United Future Christchurch Central candidate John van Buren will journey back to Teddington on Banks Peninsula for the reopening of the Wheatsheaf Tavern closed in March of this year because of the Smokefree legislation.

Van Buren made a stand at the Wheatsheaf Tavern in protest of the smoking ban introduced into bars in December last year, and was prosecuted by the Health Ministry for allegedly breaching the Smokefree Environments Amendment Act.

The prosecution failed when van Buren placed his company into liquidation, leaving no legal entity for the Ministry to prosecute.

"It’s going to feel a little strange standing on the public side of the bar", says van Buren, "and being served by the new licencee, but those are the breaks".

"While I’m not exactly happy that the ban forced the Wheatsheaf’s closure, I have no regrets about making my stand against the ban, as the smokefree legislation is draconian to say the least and is nothing more than social engineering by a government showing little care for small business".

"Someone had to take the fight to the government, and highlight the damage on the hotel industry the ban has inflicted".

"Geoff Mulvihill of Timaru’s Carlton Hotel and I founded the WIN Party to fight against the smokefree legislation and WIN will carry on the fight until the smokefree legislation is amended".

"The smoking ban encroaches upon freedom of choice so together with United Future we will fight to preserve what little choice we still retain".

"The Labour dominated coalition considers freedom of choice a radical thought when it is a God given right of every New Zealander to be free to make an informed choice".

John van Buren will be at the Wheatsheaf Tavern at Teddington between the hours of 6pm and 7pm on Thursday 1 September 2005.


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