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Govt no-show at drugs policy roundtable a disgrace

20th February 2008

Govt no-show at drugs policy roundtable a disgrace

"It is a disgrace that not a single Government MP has seen fit to attend a national roundtable on New Zealand drugs policy today," Green Party Associate Health Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton's failure to either attend the roundtable himself or send another MP is indicative of the Government's ongoing head-in-the-sand attitude to New Zealand's inconsistent and ineffective drugs policy.

"This is an essential opportunity to look at New Zealand's Misuse of Drugs Act with international and national experts on drugs policy," Mrs Turei says.

"The purpose of the roundtable is to discuss rational evidence-based drugs policy with experts and policy makers.

"However Jim Anderton, the Government's only MP who was to attend the roundtable, is clearly of the mind that dialogue with these experts is not a high priority for him or the Government.

"This is despite warnings that New Zealand's current drugs policy, which is 30 years old, is dangerously ineffective.

"The fact that the Government has not a single MP here shows a lack of commitment to providing New Zealand with up to date and effective policy which could improve the situation of many vulnerable New Zealanders."


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