Dairy owners are celebrating a big win for common-sense after seeing its policy positions on crime and business, reflected in the new Coalition Government’s policy platform.
“After years of fighting for small businesses, our advocacy to members of the Coalition Government has got big results for dairies, service stations, liquor stores and hospitality,” says Sunny Kaushal, Chair of the Dairy and Business Owner’s Group Incorporated.
“In Mark Mitchell, we have a Police Minister who’ll walk the talk on the crime emergency with 500 extra Police and the Corrections portfolio. Red tape will be slashed, reducing inflation and interest rates and we have a Government that’ll trust adults to be adults.
“National, Act and NZ First want to re-energise our country, which has been sapped by record crime, record debt and record failures in health, education and infrastructure.
“Those of us behind the counter bore the full brunt of theory that did not work in the real world. The three parties in the new government have listened and are investing to make the streets a safe place to shop and do business in.
“If you look cross the Tasman, that’s where Labour’s prohibitionist rabbit hole would have taken us. Aussie gangs are using stand over tactics and arson to intimidate retailers into selling illegal cigarettes and vapes. 30 shops arsoned in Victoria alone. It’s chaos.
“Yet Labour wanted to upend massively compliant Kiwi retailers, 94% for smokes and 97% for vapes or 100% recently in Northland. You couldn’t write the gangs a better business plan.
“The Coalition had the sense to walk back on this because Year-10 schoolkids went smokefree in 2021. There was no need for a generation ban. Smoking rates have dropped like a stone because smokers find vapes are better, cheaper and safer.
“We want a Smokefree NZ and market-led solutions will get us there. We hope to get the ability to market vapes to any adult who asks for a pack of smokes. We are part of the solution after helping to slash smoking by a third since 2020.
“As the Coalition is now backing highly compliant law-abiding retailers, in return, we have no issue with much bigger penalties for illegal sale. We know disposable vapes make up most sales, so a clear ban there will get big results over Labour’s confused and confusing approach.
“What we need is clarity on is the smoked tobacco retailer applications at almost $1,500 each. That’s hardwired into law and closes 3 December and before Parliament sits.
“The law needs urgent amendment and we want assurance that the Ministry of Health will pause determination and return application fees.
“Dairies are part of the solution because 330,000 daily smokers are our customers and finally, we have a Government that backs the market and backs law-abiding retailers,” Mr Kaushal said.