The Government is still refusing to budge on the recreational use of cannabis, but says it’s open to further discussion around its medicinal use.
The comment has once again re-lit debate around cannabis law reform the same day as “J-Day” protests across the country.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman is giving an inch, but protesters at today’s J-Day in Auckland want a mile.
“Overall I want to make sure New Zealanders get access to the medications they want over time, but I don’t at this point support making marijuana available,” Mr Coleman said.
More than 1000 gathered in Albert Park for the annual protest — this year’s theme the decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis.
Currently, non-pharmaceutical grade cannabis products can be accessed only with ministerial approval, but that’s rarely granted.
“If you’re dying in hospital, how are you going to be writing letters, and going and getting all these things together, and peer reviews and reports from consultants and things before you can get approval?” says cannabis supporter Chris Fowlie. Read more »
Currently, to be eligible to enrol with the Electoral Commission, a person must be a permanent resident or a citizen.
But New Zealand First MP Winston Peters said only citizens should have the right to vote on the future of the flag.
“If you want to have a say in a flag, surely your belief is that you want to be, seriously, part of the country and make a commitment to it.
“It’s that lack of entitlement that we’re talking about that should not entitle them to have a vote.”
No other country allowed non-citizens to make a decision about their national identity and it should not happen here, he said.
David Cameron is holding a referendum on whether or not Britain should remain part of the European Union. One of the key aspects that most concerns me is that…
Within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital,
…The result of the referendum will play into the future of Europe itself, at a time when Europe’s elites – including even the continent’s strongest leaders, like Germany’s Angela Merkel – find themselves in an ever-more precarious position.
So what are the merits of membership?
John Key thinks the new flag will be remembered not him:
Less than 50 per cent of New Zealanders voted for a new flag design – but Prime Minister John Key believes there is support for change.
Key, speaking to the Herald just before he went into to chat to Newstalk ZB’s Leighton Smith, said the issue was important for the country.
“I don’t think it’s a legacy project for me, I think it’s an important issue for New Zealand.”
Key was speaking the day after official results showed Kyle Lockwood’s silver fern flag with black, white and blue won the first round of the flag referendum.
He said Canada wouldn’t remember the Prime Minister who changed their flag back in 1965, “but they can certainly remember the flag changed”.
“I certainly hope we change, and I think that if we do change to the fern flag, I think we will use it and it will be an international flag that is known. Read more »
Tracy Watkins writes an opinion piece about the flag referendum and the final week of voting.
Is John Key on the brink of his first big defeat?
No Tracy, that was Northland…but he saw the writing on the wall with that one and let Steve Joyce take one in the chook.
Voting is about to close in the first of two flag referendums and Key’s favoured design, the blue and black silver fern, could well take out the first round.
But it may be a pyrrhic victory if voter turnout fails to pick up in a last minute rush.
Because if barely more than a quarter of voters bother to return their ballot papers, Key will face huge pressure to call off the second round of voting for lack of interest.
To call it off midway through would be farcical so Key will have no choice but to stick it out to the end. Read more »
John Key is putting a lot of his personal credibility on the line with the flag change referendum and like the Northland by-election it isn’t working.
As for the flag, there is a real battle ahead for Mr Key now. He needs to dig for a real sales job, with his personal pride on the line.
Mr Key has come up against a powerful force in New Zealand – the Kiwi “yeah-nah” attitude – and it seems on the flag change people might just saying “nah”.
Forget Northland, forget our so-called child poverty issue, and forget a referendum to change flag no one wants changed…the people of Vanuatu are in desperate need.
It is reported that the flag referendum and subsequent change would cost something in the region of $35 million.
Vanuatu has been smashed by Cyclone Pam, what little they did have is now spread all over the Pacific.
Cyclone Pam is one of the worst storms to have ever hit a populated area and the devastation will take years to recover.
Does John Key really need a new flag, or would the money be better spent aiding our Pacific neighbours in their time of need? Read more »
Politicians love to spend other peoples money and push their own agendas.
The idiot running the New Plymouth City Council wants to force maori representation on his ratepayers. And his idiot council voted to implement it.
But someone took exception and forced a referendum on the issue.
New Plymouth is to spend about $80,000 to conduct a poll over whether Maori should have an automatic right to a council seat.
The district council this week validated a petition calling for a binding citizens-initiated referendum on the establishment of a Maori ward and a ballot will be held in May.
Last year, the council voted 7-to-6 to establish a Maori ward at the local government elections in 2016. Read more »
The ACT Party says they’re getting rid of their tired old grumpies in favour of a bright and breezy future.
“Maybe we should be handing out a bit more dye like they do in the National Party,” [David Seymour] joked.
And while a youthful band valiantly tried to up the tempo, grey locks easily outnumbered wrinkle-free faces at the annual conference.
Political commentator David Farrar had predicted the party’s demise, declaring ACT clinically dead three years ago.
“The fact they actually got through when you consider everything they’ve had in the past in the way of scandals, you know I was totally wrong,” said Farrar.
Wrongly David Wrongson also didn’t get much right. Of course, ACT has died. It’s on life support via Epsom. Let’s be real here – Kim Dotcom, Laila Harre and Hone Harewira got more votes for their sideshow than ACT did. Helps to remember that, you know, as a reality check. Read more »