Skip to Content
drug information

Reshaping New Zealand’s Alcohol and other Drug Policy Declaration

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Download the full Wellington Declaration (PDF 540KB)

In late August 2013 almost 100 people representing over 50 organisations gathered in Wellington help reshape New Zealand's alcohol and other drug policy.

Over the course of two days the people at the Drug Foundation-convened summit built a consensus on a way forward for New Zealand's national drug policy.

Consensus can be a tricky thing to build at the best of times, but over the course of two days we proved that New Zealand’s response to drugs does not have to be a divisive issue.

Drug policy directly affects many people, families and communities, yet traditionally groups outside policy makers and enforcement have been left out of its creation. Our ambitious plan was to bring some of the people most affected by drugs and drug policy, but who had never had a chance to talk about it, into the same room.

We had representatives from the addiction treatment sector, teachers and principals, and the lovely people from Grandparents Raising Grandchildren sitting next to people from NORML, the Police Association, and the Needle Exchange Programme.

This community-led approach culminated with a 10,000 word declaration that will hopefully shape New Zealand’s next national drug policy which is being updated by government later this year.

The declaration is not just a list of demands to government. The people at the summit also committed themselves to working together and with government to tackle New Zealand’s drug issues.

The collective wisdom, backed by a strong emphasis on evidence-based solutions allowed the group to find common ground on some really important issues, which fully implemented, will lead to huge health and societal gains.

The declaration was created with a spirit of good will and a desire for better cooperation and collaboration between everyone affected by drugs and drug policy. One of the best things about the summit was the way people were able to put aside their agendas to focus on the common good and agree on measures which will help everyone. We trust that the Government and any other organisation with an interest in an Aotearoa New Zealand free from drug harm, will accept it in the spirit it was created, and us all to make it a reality.