Wednesday, May 17, 2006



Maori Party Member's Bills

Hone Harawira's Tokerau Times has some information on the Maori Party's plans for Member's Bills. Tariana Turia has reportedly finished drafting and consulting on a bill to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act and allow the courts to test the evidence on Maori claims, and it should be going in the ballot soon. Pita Sharples has meanwhile been working on a bill to entrench the Maori seats and give them the same protection as the general ones - this would be as simple as adding s45 (relating to Maori Representation) and the definition of "Maori electoral population" in s3(1) to the entrenchment clause in s268. Harawira himself is planning a bill to ban the production and sale of tobacco (which I think is really a bridge too far). The delay seems to be due to an extensive consultation process with the party's membership - something I don't think any other party bothers to do - but hopefully we'll see at least the first of these in the ballot soon.

5 comments:

My head says prohibition doesn't work. My heart, however, reminds me that I lost my Ngai Tahu nanna to cancer sticks.

Intellectually, I should be opposed to Hone Harawira's bill, but emotionally, I hope that at least partially, it succeeds in further marginalising the practice of smoking.

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 5/17/2006 01:50:00 PM

"My head says prohibition doesn't work. "

Craig,

Of course it works. You've been listening too hard to NORML.

Those who oppose prohibitions tend to say "it doesn't work" by which they mean "it doesn't work completely". Well, so what? Making burglary illegal doesn't completely prevent burglary happening either. That's hardly an argument for legalising burglary.

Let's get past this "prohibition doesn't work" boojum.

The real arguments against prohibition are:

(1) it has nasty side-effects by encouraging black markets, wasting police time and enriching criminals.

(2) Liberals question the govts moral right to "save people from themselves".

Posted by Icehawk : 5/17/2006 04:55:00 PM

And in this case, I'm firmly against a complete ban on the latter grounds. Its one thing to tax the crap out of tobacco and ensure that smokers harm only themselves rather than those who are unfortunate enough to share the same room with them, and its fine to force cigarette companies to carry graphic warning labels showing what their product does to people - but I don't think a complete ban can ultimately be justified.

One anti-smoking group was suggesting allowing other tobacco products (snoose?), which are currently banned, to be sold as a way of reducing the health risks of nicotine addiction, and trying to wean people off cigarettes and onto that instead. Which isn't necessarily a bad idea...

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 5/17/2006 05:07:00 PM

Shifting users onto a different form of nicotine isn't really a viable way to stop people from smoking. It'll validate a whole new range of dangerous products that will, at the least, entrench the addiction for some. Smoking is also a very tactile and often social experience for addicts, and snuff etc don't have this element. While they obviously reduce disease caused by the smoke, they are concentrated tobacco products (esp. chewing tobacco)that greatly increase the chance of disease and cancer of the mouth.

Plus we already have nicotine products that reduce the effects of smoking - nicotine gum, inhalers and patches.

I was walking in Northcote shops this evening and saw a young guy - no older than 14 - puffing away. Disturbed me. Strikes me as where efforts to reduce smoking should be aimed at.

Posted by James : 5/18/2006 02:35:00 AM

I hope the Maori seats don't get entrenched. Neither should the Pakeha ones be anyway. We can do without electoral apartheid and move to proper PR - there would be far more choice and Maori MPs if we had a list system only.

Posted by Uroskin : 5/18/2006 09:42:00 AM