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


New Zealand Initiative Criticises Government For Rushing New Vaping Legislation During Lockdown

Wellington, 1 April - Rushing to deal with new vaping legislation during an unprecedented economic lockdown is not just folly, it is anti-democratic, according to a public submission by the New Zealand Initiative.

While most businesses and public services are shut down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has retained its deadline for public submissions about its tabled Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendments Bill, due today.

The Initiative’s submission, written by Dr Eric Crampton, outlines numerous flaws in the current regulations for vaping and other reduced-harm alternatives while suggesting policy improvements.

But the non-partisan think tank’s heaviest criticism is on the Government’s choice to continue with the bill during a sensitive time when few people for whom the new vaping regulations will directly affect are free to submit their own opinions.

“It is difficult enough to engage disadvantaged communities with select committee processes in normal times. It is harder to produce submissions when a person relies on computers at the library rather than a home office,” Dr Crampton said.

He added that since smokers and many ex-smoking vapers are disproportionately from severely disadvantaged communities, they will be struggling to deal with closed schools and jobs. Producing submissions on legislation will not be any kind of priority.

“Frankly, it boggles the mind that the House of Representatives is spending any time whatsoever on this legislative process during the current pandemic."

“Every Member of the Committee and every official with reviewing submissions have far more important things to do – pressing things that cannot be delayed until after the pandemic,” he said.

Dr Crampton wrote in his submission to the Ministry of Health that the Government “does not want to hear from vapers” because it knows they will “strongly protest” many of the legislation’s provisions.

“The Government’s refusal to amend deadlines as a consequence of the Covid-19 lockdowns is a deliberate effort to suppress submissions by those who would oppose the Government’s proposed legislation. It is deeply antidemocratic.”

He suggests extending the deadline for submissions until well after the present lockdown protocol and asked the House to lengthen the reporting deadline to allow appropriate consideration time.

The Initiative’s submission also includes policy proposals such as more autonomy for bars and restaurants allowing vaping on their property; greater differentiation between rules applied to vaping and rules applied to smoking; and, removing restrictions in the Bill that prevent those making and distributing reduced-harm products from encourage smokers to switch.

Dr Crampton also pointed to a “sneaky” definitional change in current legislation which would ban Swedish snus, a very effective reduced-harm alternative to cigarettes.

“Again, I believe this sort of nonsense is precisely why the Government is shielding this legislation from effective scrutiny by rushing it through in the middle of a pandemic and national emergency."

Read more:

  • Dr Eric Crampton's submission on the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendments Bill is available here.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Using The Word “Fascist”

“Fascist” is one of those labels with the ability to capsize any debate. Call your opponents “fascists” – or “agitators” or “terrorists” or “scum” and you’ve taken the option of mutual respect and compromise off the table. Interesting then to see the ( paywalled) Washington Post seriously debating with itself yesterday over whether… Hmm, is it now finally time to bring out the f-word in connection with the presidency of Donald J. Trump, and with his enablers in the Republican Party..? More>>


RNZ: Covid-19 rules and restrictions on businesses to be lifted under alert level 1

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted" under alert level 1.
She said the lower alert level would also put an end to restrictions for hospitality businesses, and gatherings - including funerals and tangihanga - of any size could take place..... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>


Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>


National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>


Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>


Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>


The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>


Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>


Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>


Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>






InfoPages News Channels