Public submissions open for plain packaging
The public will soon be able to have their say on the Government's bill that's going to force cigarettes to be sold in plain packages - when it becomes law.
The bill passed its first reading on Tuesday night and Parliament's health select committee has moved quickly to invite public submissions on it.
It's open for submissions from today and the closing date is March 28.
When submissions have closed, the committee will hold public hearings on the bill.
It passed its first reading by 118 votes to one but the government isn't going to put it through any further stages until a legal challenge to plain packaging in Australia has been settled.
The big tobacco companies claim the branding ban is illegal and say it breaches New Zealand's international trade agreements.
Opposition parties say the Government should pass the bill and take them on in court, but Prime Minister John Key says that would cost millions and he's not prepared to pay.
The case tobacco giant Philip Morris has taken against the Australian government is reported to be moving slowly and could take more than two years to settle.
source: newshub archive