Parliament

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

 

Funding To Test Drugs At Festivals A Lifesaver

New funding for drug-checking services at festivals is a Green Party win that will save lives. However the Government needs to go further, faster and expand these lifesaving services.

“The funding announced today for drug-checking services at festivals will save lives,” Green Party Drug Reform spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick said today.

“However, it's just a start. Drug checking services should be available to whoever needs them wherever they’re needed, not subject to annual Government funding decisions. There must be funding for community-level drug checking, like we’ve had since the 1980s when we first introduced needle exchange services.

“It’s ludicrous to pretend drug consumption only happens at music festivals and not also bars, clubs and weekend parties. Those on the front line are the first to admit gatekeeping their services to only ticketed, expensive events limits harm reduction. Everyone who needs these services should have access.

“Governments have spent nearly 50 years hammering criminal prohibition just to watch harm rise as substances and their users, are pushed further underground. Coronial Reports out of New South Wales tell us young peoples’ lives in Australia could have been saved with these services. Two NZ Government-commissioned reports from last term asked our Government to just get on with overhauling drug law entirely. The Greens support action that recognises that reality and legislates on a real evidence base,” Chlöe Swarbrick says.

The Green Party proposes $3 million annually to fund drug checking services both for festivals and for permanent sites. This would match the commitment to Needle Exchange Services - funded by Governments of all stripes for the last 40 years - which have been so wildly successful that Aotearoa New Zealand has among the lowest rates of HIV/AIDS among intravenous drug users.

“In 2019, I tabled a petition which was supported by over 6000 New Zealanders to legalise drug-checking services in time for that summer season. After the 2020 election, the Government finally introduced that legislation, which is now about to be made permanent. All of this builds on several years of thankless work from community organisers and volunteers, particularly those at Know Your Stuff, who literally risked jail time to build the local evidence base for these laws.

“We won’t give up until harm reduction is the default, instead of the exception, and the Misuse of Drugs Act is overhauled for law that actually achieves its stated aims, instead of sweeping problems under the rug.”

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Less Than Stellar Choices


Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio - a role in which he has been invisible ever since – Bayly seems destined for a future as a trivia quiz question. That’s because as the National leadership contest comes down to a choice between Simon Bridges and Christopher Luxon, the only decisions to be made on Tuesday are over who gets to be leader, and who gets the Finance job... More>>




 
 


Government: Workplace Vaccination Requirements Extended To Cover Police And NZ Defence Force

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today that workplace vaccination requirements will be extended to include the New Zealand Police and Defence Force in preparation for the transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on 3 December 2021... More>>


RNZ: Judith Collins removed as National Party leader
Dr Shane Reti is interim leader of the National Party after Judith Collins lost a no-confidence vote. Simon Bridges was demoted and stripped of all portfolios over allegations of an inappropriate comment made five years ago at a party function. Judith Collins was voted out as National's leader today after the party was locked in a caucus for more than three hours... More>>


Government: Supporting New Zealanders To Recover From COVID-19 In The Community
The Government is increasing the support for New Zealanders who test positive for COVID-19 through the rollout of the COVID Care in the Community model and a $300 million funding boost to Pharmac to purchase new medicines to treat the virus, Health Minister Andrew Little announced today... More>>

ALSO:


National: Launches First Step To World-class Tech Sector

Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says technology will create exciting careers and higher paying jobs and has the potential to transform the New Zealand economy... More>>

Council For Civil Liberties: Disgraceful Government Secrecy On Vaccination Certificates As Legislation Rushed Through
On the eve of legislation to enable vaccination passes being rushed through Parliament under urgency, the Minister has said it will not publish the relevant policy papers until ‘late January 2022... More>>


Government: Providing Business The Tools To Vaccinate Workforces

The Government is building on measures to protect businesses and workers from COVID-19 as the country gets ready to transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework on December 3, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels