INDEPENDENT NEWS

LGNZ Calls For A Dramatic Reduction In Vape Stores

Published: Thu 28 Jul 2022 11:44 AM
The majority of councils around the country want vaping products to only be sold at specialist R18 retailers to curb the rise in youth vaping.
Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) member councils have today passed a remit, proposed by Kaipara District Council, that calls on the Government to limit the retail availability of vapes to specialist stores and include proximity restrictions in this year’s round of amendments.
It’s one of six remits that passed at the AGM today to direct LGNZ’s policy and advocacy.
“New Zealand was late to the party passing laws regulating the sale of vape products and that’s left our communities playing catch up,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby.
“Between 2018 and 2021, daily vaping rose from 2% to nearly 10% amongst 14–15-year-olds. We can’t afford this trend to continue.
“While we support the supply of vapes to people wanting to stop smoking, we don’t want to see young people who have never smoked in their life taking it up. That means we must stop vapes from being so readily available in our dairies, supermarkets and service stations.
“We need to get the balance right because even though vaping is less harmful than smoking, we don’t know what the long-term effects are.
“Councils play a major role in promoting the wellbeing of their communities. Concerns around youth vaping is one issue Mayors and councillors hear about time and time again from worried parents.
“We welcome the recent changes that include restrictions around the sale of vapes and advertising and sponsorship but vapes are still available in too many places in our communities. The amendments that came into effect over the past two years do not include measures that prevent retailers from being within a stone's throw of each other, or from schools for that matter,” Stuart Crosby said.
“Without these measures in place, we could end up with more situations like the one in Dargaville, whose main street has 13 places where people can buy vapes. This includes 3 specialist vape stores within 150 metres of each other,” Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith said.
“As the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill is before select committee, now’s the time to take the opportunity to future proof the health of the next generation,” Jason Smith said.
“Other remits that passed today include a proposal for an independent review into the way in which government, through Waka Kotahi, funds transport investments, including maintenance programmes and new developments. There was also strong support for a remit that calls on central government to fully and permanently fund public transport for students, community card holders, under 25 year-olds and total mobility card holders and their support people, and extend the reach and frequency of the current public transport network,” Stuart Crosby said.
“Remits are an important mechanism to push for changes. Just yesterday we saw an LGNZ remit from 2014 that wanted the Government to make decisions around fluoridating drinking water and take responsibility for it come into effect. It goes to show that while it can take time for change to happen, remits are still a really powerful tool,” Stuart Crosby said.
A brief summary of each remit, and the voting results, can be found below:
1. Central government funding for public transport
Proposed by Porirua City Council and supported by the Metro Sector. It calls on central government to fully and permanently fund free public transport for students, community service card holders, under 25s, and total mobility card holders and their support people. To also extend the reach and frequency of Aotearoa’s current public transport network. Also that LGNZ joins the Aotearoa Collective for Public Transport Equity (ACPTE) in support of the Free Fares campaign.
The remit was passed with 82 per cent support.
2. Review of Government transport funding
Proposed by New Plymouth District Council and supported by: Rangitīkei District Council, Hauraki District Council, South Taranaki District Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Stratford District Council and Hamilton City Council. This remit wants LGNZ to call for an independent review, to commence within the next 12 months, into the way in which government, through Waka Kotahi, fund transport investments in Aotearoa. This includes funding of new developments and maintenance programmes.
The remit was passed with 96 per cent support.
3. Illegal street racing
Proposed by Hutt City Council and supported by: Upper Hutt City Council, Masterton District Council, Carterton District Council, Tauranga City Council, Hamilton City Council and Porirua City Council. This remit proposes that LGNZ implement a nation-wide working group of subject matter experts with the objective of formulating an action plan to effectively enforce the Land Transport Act 1998 and work with police to tackle illegal street racing and the antisocial behaviour associated with it.
The remit was passed with 77 per cent support.
4. Bylaw infringements
Proposed by Auckland Council and supported by: Auckland Zone. This remit calls for LGNZ to lobby Government to implement an infringement notice regime for general bylaws.
The remit was passed with 89 per cent support.
5. Density and proximity of vaping retailers
Proposed by Kaipara District Council and supported by: Zone 1. This remit wants LGNZ to request the Government to restrict the sale of vaping products to R18 specialist vape stores and develop proximity limits to prevent the clustering of vaping product retailers and protect young people.
The remit was passed with 79 per cent support.
6. Polling LGNZ members
Proposed by New Plymouth District Council and supported by: Taupō District Council, SouthTaranaki District Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council, Stratford District Council, Taranaki Regional Council, Central Otago District Council. This remit proposes that LGNZ adopt a policy to poll the LGNZ membership on any significant issue affecting local government in Aotearoa, prior to making that decision. LGNZ should develop a policy in conjunction with the membership that sets out the threshold for polling the membership. In the interim, the decision about the threshold for polling rests with National Council.
The remit was passed with 67 per cent support.
About LGNZ
LGNZ provides the vision and voice for local democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand. We’re a membership organisation, supporting and advocating for councils and their communities. LGNZ is involved in policy, reforms, programmes and advocacy as well as providing advice, consultancy and training to councils and their staff.

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