Paula Bennett’s comment that some people have fewer human rights than others is deeply concerning and reflects the National Government’s backward approach to drugs, the Green Party said today.
“National are proving once again that they are out of touch, out of date, and out of time to do anything that will actually help us to reduce violence and drug addiction,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.
“Human rights are not something you can take away from people because it is politically convenient.
“This Government has presided over an escalation of the methamphetamine crisis and shown itself to be unable to do anything substantive to address it.
“Funding for substance abuse treatment has been negligent for a long time, and this latest announcement of $10 million a year will barely cover the $150 million that the NZ Drug Foundation estimates we need.
“In Government the Green Party will direct more funding towards drug education and rehabilitation – we cannot arrest our way out of this issue.
“Paula Bennett had a chance to actually reduce violence by enacting tougher controls on firearms this year but instead rejected the recommendations of experts and the Police Association.
“New Zealand deserves a Government is willing to do what is right, not one that is willing to engage in the worst kind of dog-whistle politics,” said Mr Shaw.