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


Drug Testing Beneficiaries - The Methodist Mission

Drug Testing Beneficiaries - The Methodist Mission

“Watch for the law of unintended consequences” says Mission Chief Executive Laura Black when asked about Government moves to drug test beneficiaries.

“The Drug Foundation advises that this move will drive users from pot to meth and it will certainly incentivise recreational users to claim addiction in order to escape penalties”.

But, she says, it is worse than that.

“The Ministry of Health says this move will cost more than it will save. On top of that, Work and Income will need a whole new division of accounts folk just process the paperwork involved in such a complicated scheme.”

And what happens, she asks, to the children of a parent recently made redundant, newly on unemployment benefit, with the residue of a party weekend from last month ago still in the bloodstream? They would fail two tests in a row – because the active component for marijuana stays in the blood for up to three months – and have their the family income docked as a result. “What happens for that child?”.

“We sympathise with the sentiment that people looking for work shouldn’t be doing drugs and making themselves ineligible for some forms of work. However, policing it in this manner is likely to cost the taxpayer more, create additional drug use problems, clog up already stretched addiction services, create new bureaucracies, harm the interests of innocent children, and have absolutely no impact on overall levels of unemployment”.

“The Mission calls on Government to address the recreational use of drugs amongst people receiving income support with the most effective known interventions: rehabilitative and support services”.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Whether We’re Punching Above Our Weight, And Should We Care?

According to Pierre De Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, the Olympic ideal was not about “winning, but fighting well. Life is not conquering, but fighting well.” True to that ideal, young people from all over the world do still congregate together once every four years to compete peacefully against each other... More>>


Finance: Finance Minister And RBNZ Governor Agree To Update MOU On Macro-prudential Policy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives... More>>

Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>

Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>




InfoPages News Channels