Apr 20, 2012

Turia scores smoking victory

Credit where credits due, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has scored a significant victory:

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia said yesterday that the Cabinet had agreed to introduce plain packaging alongside Australia – but only after public consultation.

It is the next step in the Government's drive to make New Zealand smokefree by 2025. From July, a ban will come into force on the open display of cigarette and tobacco packs in all shops.

So far this term, this is the Maori Party’s signature win. Last term the party secured a select committee inquiry into smoking. The inquiry resulted in, among other things, a tax hike on cigarettes – not insignificant securing a tax rise under a National government. After Whanau Ora, the Maori Party’s efforts for a smokefree New Zealand by 2025 have resulted in the most tangible benefits for Maori. The Maori smoking rate is trending down and the rate among Maori girls, a notorious smoking group, is dropping dramatically.

Plain packaging isn’t guaranteed, however, with British American Tobacco saying that they’ll “take every action necessary to protect its intellectual property rights”. Australia, the first country to introduce plain packaging, is currently facing a legal challenge from British American Tobacco. Public consultation will also occur.


  1. Honestly, as an ex-smoker, I don't think this will make smoking less popular. You already have to ask the shopkeeper for cigarettes, so that won't change, and you already have gruesome warnings, so the packaging won't effect you either. The best thing the Maori Party could push for to drop rates of smoking is to tax the hell out of it, and make them an unaffordable luxury item. The tax hike in 2010 ended my smoking habit, I just couldn't afford them anymore and nobody wants to be the guy who is always asking for a ciggie.

  2. Morgan

    The real victor from the push to make Aotearoa smokefree is Hone Harawira. He led the charge until others cottoned on and decided the court of public opinion was behind the move. The Maori Party can't claim the spoils - their ex-member, Hone, can.

  3. Tautoko - Harawira should get the cred for this



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