Hamilton City Council and Whanganui District Council have both joined a growing list of Local Authorities to pass a motion in support of Green Party Drug Reform Spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick’s Members’ bill to minimise alcohol harm.
“Barely a day goes by without hearing about alcohol harm, but it’s been years since we’ve seen meaningful political action,” said Chlöe Swarbrick.
“Councils across this country know this, because they deal first-hand with our broken laws.
“Even though Whanganui District Council finally managed to get a Local Alcohol Policy passed, their local Licensing Committee approved a new bottle store above the community’s imposed cap.
“Hamilton is among Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in still not having a Local Alcohol Policy, ten years on from the passage of the supposedly enabling Act, because of how fraught, litigious and expensive the process becomes.
“My Bill would remove that anomaly of a special appeals process, which exists in no other comparable legislation governing harmful substances nor gambling, that currently allows commercial interests to delay and mow over the rights of communities.
“These Councils have far more courage than our Parliament has so far been willing to show.
“Ngā mihi to Mayor McDouall and Councillor Thomson, the Councillors of Whanganui and Hamilton who yesterday and today voted for greater wellbeing and less substance abuse. Now is the time for my Parliamentary colleagues to listen and act,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.