National quite happy to damage companies and devalue their brands

Perhaps the National party need to reacquaint themselves with their founding principles, which say:

?To promote good citizenship and self-reliance; to combat communism and socialism; to maintain freedom of contract; to encourage private enterprise; to safeguard individual rights and the privilege of ownership; to oppose interference by the State in business, and State control of industry?.

Certainly, John Key and Sam Lotu-Iiga have scant memory of those principles despite being the leader and a minister in a National-led government.

The bill that will force cigarettes to be sold in plain packets is back in parliament and on track to become law.

It passed its second reading on Thursday after being on hold since 2014.

The government last month confirmed it was going to put it through, and unveiled the proposed new brown-green packaging which is similar to that used in Australia.

Prime Minister John Key said at the time plain packages could be on the shelves early next year.

The government first mooted plain packaging back in 2012, the year Australia introduced it, and the bill passed its first reading in February 2014.

It went to a select committee, which supported it, but the government didn’t want to take it any further at that time because it was worried about the possibility of costly legal challenges from big multi-national tobacco companies.

The Australian government was being sued at the time, but in December last year legal action by Philip Morris failed.

Why do the Media party lie about the so-called failed lawsuit? That was one legal action in a jurisdiction that didn’t actually have jurisdiction. The WTO case is ongoing and National are foolish to enter into this brand and intellectual property destruction when there is no evidence to suggest that it works, anywhere in?the?world.

Australia is still waiting for the outcome of a challenge to its plain packaging laws that is being dealt with by the World Trade Organisation.

Despite that, the government decided to put the bill through its remaining stages.

It passed its second reading 108-13, with NZ First and ACT opposing it.

Forced through by the Maori party, which has a single seat and a mad cow as a list MP. Real “tail wagging the dog” stuff.

NZ First’s position is that the government should ban tobacco rather than meddle with the sale of a legal product, and it doesn’t believe plain packaging will work.

ACT leader David Seymour said the impact of plain packaging in Australia had been minimal.

“Every company wants to have its own brand so it can compete with other companies, that’s perfectly understandable,” he said.

The bill still has to pass its committee and third reading stages to become law.

The measure won’t work, especially as the government has muddied the waters by upping excise tax again at the same time as bringing in this measure.

If people are too stupid to understand current health warnings then they really deserve everything that is coming their way. Tobacco is a tax on stupidity.

At the same time the government still has vaporisers banned, and there is clear evidence that they work in assisting people to cease smoking. But the health troughers oppose those too, despite the evidence, because they hate an entire industry.

When they turn on food, sugar and alcohol next, don’t come crying to me. I warned industry years ago that this was coming if they remained silent.


– NZ Newswire