Greens make progress on alcohol harm minimisation

The Green Party is tonight welcoming the progress made with Chlöe Swarbrick’s Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) member’s bill but disappointed Parliament has once again kicked the rest of the can down the road.

“After a year of grassroots campaigning, late last year the Government announced it was adopting the kaupapa of my Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill. I said then that I wouldn’t withdraw my Bill because we had no guarantee they would follow through. A few weeks ago, unfortunately, the Government proved that hunch right by slashing work on alcohol sponsorship and advertising in sport,” says Green Party MP, Chlöe Swarbrick.

“Tonight, MPs’ consciences were tested. As they did on Medicinal Cannabis back in 2018, National decided to bloc vote against evidence based drug harm reduction. I tried, again and again, to engage with their many electorate MPs, spokespeople and leadership but was stonewalled. It’s ultimately our communities who will pay the price of that petty partisanship.

“New Zealanders deserve evidence-based drug laws that reduce harm. Whether that’s for alcohol, cannabis, tobacco or otherwise, you can trust the Greens will always put in the consistent and persistent work.

“I want to thank Te Pāti Māori and the members of Labour who stuck their necks out for the right thing - something successive Governments have had recommended to them by their own Reviews and Inquiries for more than 10 years.

“Thank you to all the Councils, NGOs, health professionals, community workers and former Chair of Te Whatu Ora who vocally supported this Bill. Thank you especially to Dr Nicki Jackson, former Alcohol Healthwatch Executive Director and Selah Hart, outgoing Hāpai Te Hauora CEO, for their tireless organising and support.

“We’ll hold this Government accountable to their commitments to progress with removal of Special Appeals privileging alcohol companies over communities, the first part of this Alcohol Harm Minimisation Bill. As always, the mahi continues.”