Troughers gathering in Wellington, Hague excited


Well that didn’t take long.

A bunch of tax-payer funded troughers are rolling into Wellington and to Parliament tomorrow for the so-called 10 year ‘anniversary’ of the Smokefree laws.

No doubt Shane Kawenata Bradbrook will be there waving the flag, alongside Smokefree Coalition’s Prudence Stone, who may be looking for some action.

There’s just slight problem with this. Helen Clark introduced the Smokefree Environments Act in 1990, and by my reckoning that’s more than 10 years ago.    

While there’s been various changes to the legislation along the way, flying people from around the country to celebrate an amendment sets a very alarming precedent.

So why is the Ministry of Health and the Cancer Society spending thousands of taxpayer dollars flying troughers from around the country to celebrate an anniversary that isn’t an anniversary?

Maybe they just needed a chance to ‘appear’ in Parliament as soon after the election as possible in order to advocate  lobby MPs in breach of their contracts with the MOH?

Wouldn’t be the first time.

Maybe the organisers – including the MOH, are just rat cunning and see this as an opportunity to capture the new Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman, Associate Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and the new Health Committee Chair Simon O’Connor and demand more taxpayer funding for their trough.

They’ve clearly got Green Taliban MP Kevin Hague under the thumb if his grinding on about Katherine Rich is anything to go by.

They probably think they’re being quite clever hosting a function on a Wednesday evening in Parliament.

But holding a function on the last day of the sitting year, when MPs will be racing off to the Koru lounge to get home for Christmas, and as the Press Gallery is holding their booze-up Christmas party is nearly guaranteed to ensure no one attends.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.