Tobacco stockpile left with NZ customs due to duty free allowance change

By Te Kāea

Inspecting the tobacco stockpile left with New Zealand Customs as a result of duty free allowance change put in place by Minister of customs Nicky Wagner.

The result of the Duty Free allowance, being thrown to the fire.

According to Hon Nicky Wagner, “What we’re showing you know is how customs is responding to the Government policy to try and cut smoking, and to reach non-smoking by 2025.”

On the 1st of November, the duty free limits on tobacco were reduced. You could once purchase 200 cigarettes duty and tax free, however that has now been reduced to 50 cigarettes duty and tax free.

Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga says, “We all know the damage that smoking has on our society, it's still the biggest preventable death and loss of health to our community.”

The Government is pushing for a smoke free New Zealand by 2025, it is one of the key reasons the allowance for Duty Free has dropped, but what happens to the left over goods?

Geoffrey Rollinson says, “We take it to a facility where it will get shredded, then it gets mixed with other types of waste, and then it goes in an enclave which is basically a pressure cooker.”

“So the health effect of the reduction in the number of cigarettes that are on the market, in terms of those smoking, we've seen it decline, and this is another positive step to a smoke free New Zealand by 2025,” says Lotu-liga.

According to Wagner, “We do know that the biggest deterrent for smoking besides education, is price, and as the price goes up, and you will be aware that there is a continuous 10% increase over ten years.”

The Minister of Customs has informed the Airports around the world about the change in Duty Free allowance, the majority of these cigarettes are gifts to people, but today, a decrease in allowance is an increase in health.