"Anti-Vitamin" Bill Campaign Achievements
February 2007: Health Freedom launched it’s first protest action in Auckland under the banner "Our Health Our Choice" Say No to Aussie Rules. Approximately 350 people attended the first march up Queen Street to Myers Park. The action was reported on the 6 o'clock news on TV3 and TVNZ One as well as Radio New Zealand.
March 2007: Health Freedom launches its official website encouraging viewers to write letters to MP's and informing people of the latest news and protest action dates. Health Freedom holds another protest march up Queen Street. Wellington and Tauranga join the protest action. A petition in launched and distributed nationwide.
The Red Umbrella Campaign is launched. Postcards with Red Umbrellas were made and distributed for constituents to sign and send in to Parliament demanding “Say No” to the Anti-Vitamin Bill. Red Umbrellas with the website on them are made and distributed throughout the country.
April 2007: Health Freedom stages a Red Umbrella Rally at Parliament where nine consumers of natural products, dependent on their products for their lives, presented their stories to MP's Sue Kedgley of the Greens, Tony Ryall and Jackie Blue of the National Party. Numbers of people taking to the streets to protest the formation of the trans-Tasman agency ANZTPA swell. Health Freedom spreads its reach to Christchurch (with the co-operation of the NZ Health Trust) and Wellington where a combined 800 people marched in protest against the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill carrying with them their red umbrella. Protest action also takes place in April in Tauranga, Whangarei, Invecargil and the West Coast.
May 2007: Health Freedom launches its Nationwide Weekend of protest action. At the beginning of the week a booklet insertion was added to the Herald Newspaper as a collaborative effort. The cover for the insertion, with the red umbrella on it, were wrapped around the morning papers of parliamentarians. The insertion included articles written by prominent Doctors, Natural Health advocates and Health Freedom campaigners informing the general public of the dangers of a trans-Tasman agency to New Zealand industry and consumer choice and health freedom. On the weekend, thousands of New Zealanders take to the streets with their red umbrellas to “Say No” To Aussie Rules in regulating our natural products as if they were drugs. 35,000 signatures were gathered from the petition and sent to parliament.
July 16 2007: Champion of the Anti-Vitamin Bill, Minister Annette King, announces that the Labour led Government is not proceeding with legislation (Therapeutic Products & Medicines Bill) and it has been postponed, but will remain on the Order Paper to be revisited when sufficient parliamentary support is available.
January 2008: Health Freedom is notified that a backlash witch hunt is underway by Medsafe and begin to investigate.
March 2008:Medsafe are fully underway with a systematic and relentless witch hunt of natural products manufacturers, resellers and natural health practitioners who sell natural health products. Health Freedom send out press releases, beginning to inform MP’s demanding an investigation. A petition for the Health Select Committee, demanding investigation and local legislation is launched.
Health Freedom launches a nationwide letter writing campaign, phone in and visitation to Medsafe, MP's and the Health Minister imploring the Bureaucracy to stop its retaliatory witch hunt. Sue Kedgley, MP for the Greens picks up the questions in the House to the then Health Minister, David Cunliffe.
May 2008: Health Freedom spokeswoman Nicola Grace presents submission to Health Select Committee requesting
1. “That urgent action be taken to ensure that Medsafe of the Ministry of Health cease and desist from their newly enacted policy of persecution of businesses involved in the sale of Natural Health Care products (Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids and Herbal preparations) and the persecution of Natural Health Care practitioners.
2. That the Health Select Committee conduct a full investigation into the operation of Medsafe and their change of policy. We believe that this matter is of such high import that urgent action is required to rectify this untenable situation.
These submissions are presented for the following reasons:
a. Those Medsafe officials have entered into a nationwide campaign to abolish a basic human right, namely the right to Freedom of Choice in matters related to Health.”
A full copy of the submission can be found at this link.
October 2009:Health Freedom holds a pre-election Health Debate. The Labour led coalition with United Future and NZ First snub the debate. Attendees included: Dr. Jonathan Coleman National Party, Sue Kedgley Green Party, Roger Douglas Act Party, Naida Glavish Maori Party, John Pemberton Democrats for Social Credit, Oliver Woods RAM. The National Party, via Jonathan Coleman, extend an invitation to the Greens to work together on this issue if they form a coalition government.
April 8 2009: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Green Party and National on shared policy initiatives. Among them is an agreement to work together to develop a New Zealand based regulatory system for natural health products. Green MP Sue Kedgley will work with the Minister of Health Tony Ryall and Associate Minister Jonathan Coleman to develop a regulatory system that is specific to New Zealand, rather than the trans-Tasman model that had been proposed by the previous Labour led government.