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Nationwide Protests Against The ‘Anti-Vitamin Bill

Media Release

For Immediate Release

Nationwide Protests Against The ‘Anti-Vitamin Bill’ Continue Tomorrow

Turnout across New Zealand expected to double, organisers say

Auckland, May 18, 2007 – A second round of nationwide protest action against the proposed Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill will be held tomorrow (Saturday, May 19) with organisers expecting numbers to treble in Auckland.

Opponents of the controversial bill will congregate at red umbrella marches and rallies once again in Auckland, Christchurch, Whangarei and Tauranga, and for the first time tomorrow protests will also take place in Dunedin and New Plymouth.

Thousands of New Zealanders took to the streets during the first round of nationwide protests on Saturday, April 28.

“We were thrilled by the turnout last month and expect the protest action to swell this time as more New Zealanders become aware of how the bill will erode their rights as health consumers,” said national protest organiser, Nicola Grace. “Since the first day of action, we have been flooded with calls of support from mainstream New Zealanders.”

“Many New Zealanders are outraged that the Government could even be considering abdicating its responsibility over health regulations to the proposed Australian corporate entity, Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Authority.

“Despite assurances from Annette King that New Zealand will have equal representation on the proposed new trans-Tasman regulatory agency, we fail to see this given that the agency’s governing board is made up of five members,” Nicola said. “We cannot understand how you can split five people into two even numbers.”

Nicola is expecting this Saturday’s turnout to double nationally, and has been given indications that the numbers will quadruple in Christchurch, Whangarei and Tauranga.

In Auckland, National MP Pansy Wong and Green Party MP Keith Locke will speak at a rally and a presentation will be made outlining implications of the bill for New Zealand. This presentation is based on information compiled by Val Johansen, a former head of Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration’s surveillance unit, who now works as a consultant to the Australian complementary health care industry.

Speakers scheduled for the other centres include: in Christchurch New Zealand Health Trust Legal Advisor Amy Adams; in Dunedin Green Party MP Metiria Turei and naturopath Francisca Griffin; in Tauranga Health Options owner and natural health advocate Janice Ann Priest and in Whangarei New Zealand Health Charter spokesman, Paddy Fahey.

In Auckland, protesters will be carrying red umbrellas rain or shine, in honour of a group of Canadian women who launched a health freedom campaign for consumers in 2003. (For more information on this campaign visit www.theredumbrellas.com)

Protest action times and venues this Saturday:

Auckland
9.30am, march from Western Park (top of Ponsonby Rd) to Myers Park via Karangahape Rd.

Whangarei
Noon, rally outside Main Library, Rust Street.

Tauranga
10am, march from cornerof 2nd Avenue and Cameron Rd to Edgewaters Reserve.

New Plymouth
9am, march from the Courthouse to Pukerika Reserve.

Christchurch
10.30 am, march starts at Cathedral Square.

Dunedin
11am-noon , rally at Otago Museum Reserve.

ends


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