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Hospitality fears bleak 2004 Christmas

4 December 2003

Media Release
Available for immediate use

Hospitality fears bleak 2004 Christmas

Hospitality operators and their patrons will find the new law banning smoking in bars hard to take, says Bruce Robertson Chief Executive of the Hospitality Association. Many doubted that the Labour Government with the support of the Greens would have the arrogance to pass such draconian legislation.

Mr Robertson said all New Zealanders should be concerned about the corruption of the democratic process in the passing of this bill. Surreptitious payments by the Ministry of Health to anti smoking groups meant that the Select Committee was not provided with a fair and balanced perspective on which to make a decision. It is a sad day when organisations like HANZ, funded solely by member subscriptions, are up against Government-funded lobbyists. What issue is next???

It is disappointing the common sense compromise from Peter Dunne and United Future was ignored in favour of nanny state ideology.

Mr Robertson hoped the Ministry of Health would take an educative approach to enforcement as has been promised by the sponsor of the ban, Rotorua Member of Parliament Steve Chadwick. Draconian enforcement would see a bleak Christmas for bar owners and patrons in 2004.

ENDS

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