24 Feb 2015

Push to ban Kava 'unfair' on Australian Pacific community

7:01 am on 24 February 2015

A Tongan minister working in Australia's Northern Territory says the Australian government should have consulted the Pacific Island community before talks to ban kava.

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Photo: RNZ

Pastor 'Aisea Moala says the push for a total ban has frustrated local Pacific Island Communities.

Northern Territory senator Nigel Scullion is pushing for the total ban on kava which he says is harming indigenous communities.

Detective Superintendant Tony Fuller, from the Northern Territory's Drug and Organised Crime Division, says kava dealers are inflating prices and exploiting vulnerable indigenous communities.

'Aisea Moala says kava has important ceremonial value in Pacific Island culture and the move will penalise the entire Pacific community unfairly.

"Why are other cultures allowed to do their things here in Australia - bringing their cultures from their own place where they come from, and not us Pacific Islanders? And I think it's unfair what they're doing.

A Tongan minister working in Australia, Pastor 'Aisea Moala.