Winston looses the plot at Natural Health Protest
12 December 2006
For immediate release
Winston looses the plot at Natural Health Products protest at Parliament
There were dramatic scenes outside Parliament today as NZ First leader Winston Peters was verbally attacked and shouted down by a group of enraged people at a protest rally.
Several hundred natural health product supporters met to protest the first reading of the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill, which would see control of the sector given to an Australian agency.
Despite telling the media 6 weeks ago that he had “stopped” the Bill, Mr Peters and New Zealand First today voted with the Government to send the Bill to Select Committee.
Amy Adams, spokesperson for the NZ Health Trust pointed out the issue had already been to Select Committee twice, and had been thoroughly rejected on both occasions.
“Everyone except the Government acknowledges that the Bill will be bad for New Zealand. It would devastate the local industry, push prices up for many products while seeing other products removed from the shelves.”
At the protest the Maori Party announced its unconditional opposition to the Bill, to the crowd’s delight, but Mr Peters was booed, shouted down and finally had to be removed from the microphone.
“Winston knows he has broken his word, and getting angry with the media and the public attending the rally was not constructive,” Mrs Adams said.
The Hon Tony Ryall representing National, Sue Kedgley form the Greens and Hone Harawira from the Maori Party addressed the crowd, as did Mike Cushman from Natural Health Laboratories NZ about the disastrous effect the Bill would have on his business.