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10 June

Maori perspectives on the Legalisation & Control Bill: Live chat [recording]


Via Zoom

Organiser: Health Not Handcuffs and the NZ Drug Foundation

The cannabis referendum in September 2020 offers an opportunity to break with the past by introducing legislation to protect whānau, rangatahi and communities. A Yes vote would mean the new law can begin to make good on over 40 years of bad drug law that has disproportionately impacted on Māori.

In this webinar on Māori perspectives on the Cannabis Bill, our three speakers discussed how the new law may affect Māori – the good and the bad. 


  • Selah Hart: Chief Executive Officer, Hāpai Te Hauora
  • Tracey Potiki: Alcohol and Other Drug Innovation Project Leader, Te Rau Ora
  • Khylee Quince: Associate Professor, and Director of Maori and Pacific Advancement, AUT.

Chaired by: Kali Mercier, Policy & Advocacy Manager, NZ Drug Foundation.

If a majority of New Zealanders vote ‘Yes’ at the referendum, people will no longer be criminalised for the possession or use of cannabis. A raft of new measures will be introduced to make it harder for cannabis to get into the hands of young people, and there will be a strong focus on reducing the harm that cannabis can cause in communities. A harm reduction strategy will be developed and overseen by a new body, with input from Māori and other stakeholders, and there will be more investment in education and treatment.

On the face of it, the public health approach and harm minimisation principles at the core of the Bill should benefit Māori hugely -  but do any areas of the legislation need more work? What do we have to watch out for before the Bill goes through, and beyond? How do we ensure legalisation is a win for Māori? 

Webinar details: 11am Wednesday 10 June via Zoom.

Hosted by:

healthNotHandcuffs green rgb  Drug Foundation RGB


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