Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne's actions in supressing research regarding the public's attitude to alcohol during the consideration of the Alcohol Reform Bill is deeply concerning, Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said today.
The Ministry of Health requested the Health Sponsorship Council launch a major survey on New Zealanders attitudes to alcohol. This survey could have assisted MPs during the Select Committee consideration of the Alcohol Reform Bill. However the Health Sponsorship Council report and its findings were never made public.
"Minister Dunne's explanations for burying the report - that publishing the report would cost too much and the results didn't add value - are simply not credible," said Mr Hague.
"The actions regarding the suppression of the Health Sponsorship Council's report need to be investigated fully.
"Minister Dunne should front up and answer questions regarding why he considered this report should have been hidden from MPs and the public.
"Suppressing a report because it contains inconvenient evidence is anti-democratic," said Mr Hague.
"The Key Government has a once in a generation opportunity to take effective action to reduce alcohol-related harm with lawyers, doctors, researchers and public opinion all supporting price increases, restrictions on availability, and reduced advertising and sponsorship.
"They seem determined not only not to take this opportunity, but actually to destroy it."
I want to know why Peter Dunne suppressed this report.
I want to know why John Key allowed this report to be buried.
I want to know what is in that report.
Yep. I sure do.