On Thursday 5th, toward the end of the day, Ms Jenny Salesa started the first reading of the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill.
Here are the documents that were to be read, and a supporting discussion papers (click them to download/view)
- Supporting smokers to switch to significantly less harmful alternatives
- Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill
- Departmental Disclosure Statement
- Smoke-free Environments Act 1990
- Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill 222-1 - Bills Digest 2613
- Supporting smokers to switch to significantly less harmful alternatives - Letter to Office of the Associate Minister of Health
At around the 1:54 mark of the video, The Speaker of the House interrupts the reading. He can be seen standing and holding a folded piece of paper. He states clearly that this debate is "Interrupted" and calls for resumption on Tuesday the 10th. The video then ends abruptly.
This left more than a few people yelling "What the fuck?"
The Vaping industry in NZ has been hanging out for this release, and from what we can see of the proposed bill and its amendments, this could be one of the best outcomes we could have hoped for. So when the Speaker of the House stood up and basically called an end to the sitting, it surprised more or less the industry and watchers as a whole.
Some speculation has come up since then, about what it means; why he was holding paper; has more research come to light etc...
While it is the complete opposite of my normal outlook, I'm going to play the optimist in this situation. Lets address each of those rumours one by one.
- What does this mean? Likely just the house shutting down for the day
- Why was he holding paper? Probably a note from a colleague reminding him of the time of day
- Why did he shut down Ms Salesa, instead of letting her finish? Given it was the end of the day, and the paper being quite lengthy, it was probably a better option to stop her in the beginning, rather than let her get deep into the reading.
- Has more research come to light? Unlikely. There is a possibility, but even if it had, it would never be so ground-breaking as to stop a reading of a Bill, let alone force a complete rewrite of the Bill in question.
Right now, I think we're all a bit touchy and feeling somewhat paranoid, because we've been burned in the past. We've also seen how nasty the Governments of other countries can truly get when they want to shut down the Vaping Industry. We're hopeful, and somewhat scared of what this could mean for not only vapers, but vendors as well.
Over the next few weeks, I'll go through the proposed Bill, and post thoughts about what I think is going on. Should we be worried? Probably. Is it going to hurt? Likely.
BUT - It's not worth getting upset about, yet.