Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

dapaanz: Government’s Meth Proposals Out of Balance

Government’s methamphetamine proposals out of balance, says dapaanz

Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand (dapaanz)

The Drug and Alcohol Practitioners’ Association Aotearoa–New Zealand (dapaanz) says the government’s proposed package to deal with methamphetamine addiction in New Zealand is out of balance and shows it still has its thinking wrong on drug harm reduction.

Dapaanz Executive Director Sue Paton said it’s great to see more resources being promised to tackle methamphetamine, but that the government still seems to think it can punish the problem away.

“It’s a shame that unfortunate comments about human rights have distracted from the proposed investment into education and treatment for people addicted to methamphetamine. But it’s also a shame that more than half of the $82 million set aside ($42 million) will be spent on enforcement.

“This is out of balance with our government’s own National Drug Policy which stresses innovation, proportionality and compassion over outdated war on drugs thinking, and it’s completely out of accord with what we know works.”

Ms Paton said experts in the drug treatment sector have been telling the government for years that the best way to reduce the supply of any drug is to reduce demand for it, and the only way to do that is to support people to come off their addiction.

“Education, treatment and more rehab beds will help with that. Harsher penalties, cancelling benefits, more drug dogs and entering people’s houses without a warrant will not. Even the government’s own advisors and the police are saying we can't arrest our way out of this problem.”

Ms Paton said people with an addiction were often caught between a rock and a hard place. They want to stop, but fear coming forward because they might be treated like criminals. But when they finally do put their hands up for help they find there’s no treatment available or that they have to wait three months.

“The education and new treatment places promised will help, but will still only be scratching the surface of what needs to be done.Dapaanz would like to see much more, if not all, of that $82 million put towards treatment. It’s the only thing that will make a real difference in reducing drug harm.

“Countries like Portugal and Holland have been taking this approach in recent years and their rates of drug use, drug-related crime and their prison musters have plummeted as a result – so what drug treatment experts in New Zealand are saying has been proven overseas.”

Ms Paton says it takes courage to try something new, but that’s why our National Drug Policy talks about innovation.

“There’s a glimmer of hope in the government’s new proposal to increase education and treatment. Let’s focus on that and what the experts are saying instead of people having fewer human rights or becoming harsher as a society. Let’s stick with our National Drug Policy of innovation, proportionality and compassion because that’s what will truly work.”


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages