Duncan Garner: We are going to fail Smokefree 2025 goal and it makes me furious

OPINION: Just because the Government says it's doing something or trying to achieve something, don't necessarily believe it.

Ask for more; there'll be plenty of hot air, plenty of well-worn cliches, and plenty of full frank and meaningless waffle.

In fact, "don't believe it until you see it" is probably the best approach for every Government.

I'm talking about New Zealand's mission to be smoke-free by 2025. Labour said before the election a Smokefree 2025 action plan was an immediate priority, but Newshub asked for the plan and the official line goes like this: "The Smokefree 2025 action plan does not exist." 

Whoops, someone forgot about it and someone even forgot to appoint someone to be in charge of it.

The last we heard about it was May 2018 from former Minister Jenny Salesa - she was dealing with building houses, smoking in cars, and vaping. She said she was developing a plan.

Then in October 2019, she popped her head up again and said: "still developing a plan." Then came the election, and then she was dumped as Minister and now we still have no plan.

I think we can confidently say, we are going to fail.

When Tariana Turia and Hone Harawira left Parliament, the anti-smoking movement left as well.  No-one else has picked it up - it's been largely ignored.

Ideas need champions and brave warriors and they were two - the rest are chumps and wouldn't know night from day.

This makes me furious.

Turia and Harawira put their backsides on the line only to watch the others completely stuff it up, as families watch another 13 people die from smoking today alone.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.