Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (09:47): I had the great honour to address the annual symposium held by the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Through the Maze: On the Road to Health, at the New Zealand Parliament two weeks ago. It was a fascinating program that discussed the politics of shifting to a health-based approach to drugs. I would like to thank Kathy Errington, executive director of the Helen Clark Foundation, who chaired a lively panel on how Parliament can help this important shift, alongside Labour MP Arena Williams, Chlöe Swarbrick of the Greens, and former Nationals MP and agitator Chester Borrows. The New Zealanders were particularly interested in the successful health-based approach that has been taken in Victoria with the medically supervised injecting room. Injecting drug use is not just a problem here but in jurisdictions across the world, and there has been a significant shift by governments to treat this as a health issue not a criminal one.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Members statement 26/5/21