4 Jul 2012

Health groups phone it in to cut costs

3:06 pm on 4 July 2012

(b) Four Auckland Maori health organisations say they will make a combined submission to Parliament in a conference call, rather than travelling to the capital to make separate submissions in person.

Finance committee members will consider submissions this month on the on the Customs and Excise Amendment Bill, which would increase the excise tax on tobacco products by 10% a year until 2016.

Hapai Te Hauora Tapui's Executive Officer, Rangi McLean, says the Maori health organisations want the bill to go further and increase the tax by 100%, as well as banning duty-free tobacco imports.

But because travelling to Wellington to appear before the select committee is a big expense for each Maori health provider, they asked the committee to consider hearing their combined submission using a telephone conference.

Mr McLean says the conference call will take place on 25 July.