“It is totally unacceptable for taxpayers to further fund intravenous drug abusers through the installation of an electronic needle and syringe dispenser,” Gael Donoghue, Health spokesperson for the Christian Heritage Party said. She was commenting on the installation of an electronic needle dispenser introduced into the premises of the Christchurch Needle Exchange a few days ago.
“I think the safety of the public is at risk, in that a machine does not encourage used needles to be disposed of by incineration,” said Mrs Donoghue. “It is a joke to suggest this does not encourage drug abuse and misuse,” she said. “The latest figures released by the HFA show up to 26,000 New Zealanders to be opioid dependant and I believe this scheme overall increases these statistics. There are now Needle Exchange Trusts set up all over the country, and the latest two new dedicated needle exchanges have been established in Napier and New Plymouth with a third opening in Tauranga/Mt Maunganui next month. How sad to have such a ‘growth industry’ as this,” commented Mrs Donoghue.
“It is a real irony that the newsletter containing the announcement to the ‘users’ say this service is ‘set to take needle exchange services into the new millennium’! What a wonderful way to see in the new millennium shot up out of your brain on chemicals!” said Mrs Donoghue.
The chairperson, Ian Smith, who made the statement, should take a hard long look at what he is doing in furthering this encouragement of fellow New Zealanders into a one way activity of no hope and often death. It is a tragedy that taxpayer’s money is being used in this manner, and I believe most New Zealanders will agree with me,” Mrs Donoghue concluded.