High Level Segment – Statement by New Zealand

New Zealand Minister of Internal Affairs

NZ supports theme of HL segment of challenges achieved etc. towards an integrated and balanced strategy.  I attended CND 52 in 2009 when PD was adopted and regard this as an excellent opportunity to review progress.  Key words are cooperated, integrated and balanced.  Reflect at a political level important principles of drug policy.  Our drug policy is harm minimization.  Supply control, demand reduction and problem limitation.  NSP and OST supported.  Successful outcomes only possible if we keep striving to improve cooperation between local agencies and providers.  Cooperation also necessary at international level  if we are to meet targets of 2009 — to reduce significantly by 2019 demand for drugs and diversion, trafficking and money laundering.  Roundtables will be useful for that.  NZ mainly concerned with meth and NPS and provision of treatment for those who seek or need help.  NZ approach to NPS:  in 2012 NZ government decided our drug laws were ineffective.  New substances can develop at such a rate that one step ahead of controls.  In 2011 we introduced interim legislation to create temporary bans on importation and supply of substances.  Banned around 40 in under two years.  Still required government to identify substances in unregulated market with no understanding of effects on consumers.  Banned substances replaced with potentially more harmful substances.

Took a different approach through legislation introduced in 2012.  Legislation is intended to provide sponsors of NPS to demonstrate to national regulatory authority that their products meet certain safety standards, and then can be marketed.  After six months, profound changes in psychoactive substances market in our country.  A product may only receive interim approval if low risk of harm.  sale is prohibited from convenience stores, liquor stores and petrol stations.  Have to be over 18 and strict control of advertizing and labeling.  40 products on market right now.  Compares with 2-300 on market before.  All products without approval prohibited.  150 retailers with interim licenses.  Compares with an estimated 3000-4000 unregulated sellers prior to passage of legislation.  Many others have not been approved or withdrawn from market if higher level of risk.  Independent national regulatory agency monitors those on the market.  Too early to determine outcome but confident that early signs show we are going to be successful.  Already fewer people presenting at hospital ERs from NPS harms.

Meth and other substances a concern.  National meth plan has been in place since 2009.  High priority with 6 month progress reports from agencies made to PM.  Promotes actions under each of pillars of SC, DC and PL.  In order to reduce harms to users and families and communities.  Key supply control was to schedule precursors as prescription only medicines.  Pseudoephedrine and…now prescriptions.  Now seeing very little diversion to illegal manufacture.  Others are dedicated cross agency and border response and targeting of criminal networks.  Working with Chinese government.  Key treatment facilities also in prisons.  National meth website.  INfo on addiction and related health problems.  User stories and how to access treatment.  Integrated response across many agencies and NGOs. Statistics show drop of 2.2 % to 0.9% with particular reduction in new and first time users.  Prices of drug remain high and more users being treated.  Challenges of our country different, but strategy needed by other countries the same — cooperation across sectors.  NS also supports moves to eliminate death penalty for drug related crime.

Please click here to view the full statement: http://myconference.unov.org//Documents/Get/0d19404b-ed00-4700-a8d5-ad95b3285fd2

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