Stuart Nash insists Government unity on introducing roadside drug testing

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 5:40PM
Julie Anne Genter and Stuart Nash made the announcement today. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The Police Minister insists all parties in the Government want to introduce roadside drug testing. 

Plans to improve drug driver testing are being opened for public consultation, after a petition calling for an urgent law change on roadside testing has been reopened this week.

71 people were killed in crashes last year involving a driver with drugs or medication in their system.

Police Minister Stuart Nash told Heather du Plessis-Allan that they want to introduce road-side drug testing.

"There are too many Kiwis dying on our roads. There are too many Kiwis driving under the influence of drugs, and that is simply not on." 

He says that the previous National Government tried to introduce this but their cabinet rebuffed it, and the Labour-led Government has been doing a lot of work.

He reiterated that they were going to release this in March, but the police policy team ended up focusing on the Christchurch terror attacks.

At a media stand-up today, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter says the current law makes it difficult for police to test for drug driving more often.

Genter says they want expert and public advice on the design process, including how and what drugs should be tested.

However, Genter has previously said that she does not want roadside testing to be introduced.

Nash told du Plessis-Allan that she has changed her mind, and that she says that her comments in an interview last year were taken out of context. 

"We're working very closely together on this, we're closely aligned." 

He says that they are looking at effective technologies that would meet the expectations of the public, as procedures such as saliva testing are known for not being fully effective. 

Consultation will take place over the next six weeks, and Nash urges people to go online and look at the legislation. 

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