14 May 2010

Cigarette-packet coffin taken into select committee

11:59 am on 14 May 2010

The grandchildren of a man who died from lung cancer have carried a coffin made from empty cigarette packets into a select committee hearing looking at the consequences of smoking for Maori.

The Maori Affairs Select Committee is sitting in Christchurch where 18 groups are making submissions.

They include the family of Dennis MacDonald who died last year after smoking since he was 15.

His grandchildren, Mei Riwai-Couch, 7 and her brother Brigham, carried the coffin into the hearing in advance of their submission.

Brigham Riwai-Couch, 9, told the committee he did not understand why people smoked, and why they were sold in shops if they are so bad for people.

Among other submitters to be heard on Friday is cigarette manufacturer Imperial Tobacco.