I don't smoke, but if other people want to it is their business. After all, in New Zealand, it is a legal activity. Nevertheless, the government taxes the hell out of the product, prevents it being advertised, has turned smokers in to social pariahs and is currently working on legislation to have smoking banned almost everywhere, except at home.
But the most telling move by our left-wing government, loaded with people with marxist backgrounds, was to block New Zealand citizens from viewing the website of a small company, Havana House Cigars Ltd, a retailer of cigars. The company was also threatened with prosecution under smokefree legislation.
But the cigar company has not been entirely beaten, because it is asking all who visit its blocked site to tell the New Zealand Ministry of Health what they think of its move. This could be just the thing to help bring an arrogant government down to earth, particularly if there is a good deal of unfavourable comment from offshore.
The fact that the New Zealand government has started to censor the internet is causing alarm bells to ring. People are asking: what will the big brother government censor next?
May 26, 2000
Colin Robertson, a former office of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, is a businessman and writer. He is working on a book on New Zealand’s race relations industry.