An independent evaluation into festival drug checking services, announced today by the government, should put to rest political squabbling about a law change allowing these vital harm reduction services to expand, says the Drug Foundation.
“These services have been running in New Zealand for 3 years, with host festivals welcoming the volunteer-run group Know Your Stuff NZ in the face of legal risks. More and more festival hosts and punters want to see drug checking come from out of the shadows and recent polling shows a massive 75% public support for this to happen.
“The only hold-outs have been a few nervous politicians, who we hope will have their concerns alleviated by this independent evaluation,” said Ross Bell, NZ Drug Foundation Executive Director.
“Similar evaluations recently conducted in the United Kingdom and Australia have proven the effectiveness of festival drug checking at keeping people safe. We are confident the robust service provided by Know Your Stuff will get the same seal of approval from independent research.”
Recently the youth wings of NZ First and the National Party have publicly endorsed festival drug checking.
“There is overwhelming public support for these services and the political consensus is strengthening, so we hope this independent research is the final hurdle to be jumped before the government amends the law to allow these services to operate openly without legal risk to themselves or the festivals,” said Mr Bell.
Data routinely collected by Know Your Stuff volunteers demonstrates the effectiveness of the service:
Source: Know Your Stuff NZ
01 March 2021
Drug checking just got a big endorsement, with the release of a new VUW study carried out during last summer's festival season.
12 January 2021
KnowYourStuffNZ figures: People are choosing not to take the harmful cathinone eutylone, after discovering they had unwittingly purchased it...
01 December 2020
We are thrilled by Health Minister Andrew Little’s announcement providing legal certainty for drug checking this year.
01 August 2019
Otago University Students Association chief executive Debbie Downs tells how she came around to the idea of introducing checking of recreati...
Back to top