Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

National - ACT's failed record on fighting drugs

26 September 2003 Media release

National - ACT's failed record on fighting drugs

Progressive leader and Associate Health Minister Jim Anderton, says he is amazed at the cheek of the endless stream of press statements from National and ACT expressing mock outrage that more is not done to combat drug problems.

The reality is that those parties achieved less in dealing with drug problems during their last three-year term in government than has been achieved by the Labour Progressive coalition in the past 12 months alone.

"I became chairperson of the Ministerial Committee on Drug Policy one year ago, in August 2002. Since then, I have overseen the reclassification of methamphetamine to a Class A drug which brought in tougher penalties for importers, manufacturers and suppliers and gave police wider intervention powers.

"I have released a Methamphetamine Action Plan which outlines various actions that are currently underway and seeks to involve the community in solutions to problems that, in fact, were emerging in 1998 and 1999 when a minority National government relied on ACT's votes to govern this country," Jim Anderton said.

Jim Anderton was responding to a press statement today from ACT accusing the coalition government of refusing to take action on methamphetamine.

"Increasing use and manufacture of amphetamines was reported in Western Europe in the early and mid 1990s. By the late 1990s, countries in the Asia Pacific region had also reported increased use and manufacture of amphetamines, primarily methamphetamine.

"With any epidemic early intervention and quick action at the outset are critical.

The early signals were there to see if only the parties in the last National-led coalition had been of a mind to see them and to make a pre-emptive strike which may well have headed off the critical situation that we now find ourselves in and which the government is fully committed to responding to," Jim Anderton said.

“Having failed themselves, when they were in government I challenge National and ACT to lend constructive support to the Coalition's action plan on methamphetamine because it is one of the most serious challenges New Zealand has faced in recent times.”

ENDS

BACKGROUND:

Increasing use and manufacture of amphetamines was reported in Western Europe in the early and mid 1990s. By the late 1990s, countries in our region, including Australia, Thailand, the Phillippines, Hong Kong and Japan had also reported increased use and manufacture of amphetamines, primarily methamphetamine.

With any epidemic early intervention is critical to any government strategy. The early signals were there to see if only the parties in and supporting the last National-led coalition had been of a mind to see them and to make a pre-emptive strike which may well have headed off the critical situation that we now find ourselves in.

By 1998 the government would have known that the use of amphetamine and methamphetamine in New Zealand was growing.

Police arrest statistics for consumers and providers in New Zealand show almost a doubling of arrests between 1998 and 1999.

The 1998 Auckland University Alcohol and Public Health Research Unit Drug Use Survey showed an increase in current users of amphetamines/methamphetamines from 0.8% in 1990 to 2.2% by 1998.

With Police and Customs seizures of amphetamine and methamphetamine soaring from less than one kilogram in 1998 to more than ten kilograms by 2000.

In 1998 a Ministerial Committee was formed to oversee the National Drug Policy’s implementation.

That committee only met three times before the election in 1999. Once, in 1998, and twice in 1999. Only one Minister was recorded as attending the second 1999 meeting. Under Jim Anderton's chair since last August, there have been six Ministerial Committee meetings on drug policy.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels