At this year’s general election, New Zealand voters will have the opportunity to directly influence the future of cannabis policy in Aotearoa via a referendum. The Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill aims to provides a regulatory framework for the legal production, supply, and consumption of cannabis in New Zealand; its purpose is to ultimately reduce cannabis harm to individuals and to families.

The complex dimensions of this issue, however, are a strong barrier to entry for voters.

In August, The Equal Justice Project held an online symposium featuring a panel of experts. They discussed the impact and efficacy of the Bill by providing a platform of debate and discussion in the hope that by presenting a diverse view of perspectives, voters can become more educated so that they can make an informed decision about the future of New Zealand’s cannabis policy.


Khylee Quince – Associate Professor at AUT. She is an expert in Māori and criminal justice.

Marta Rychert – Senior Research Officer at the SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, Massey University. Her work lies at the intersection of health, policy and law.

James Farmer QC – Barrister, Queen’s Counsel, Academic.

Chris Wilkins – Associate Professor and leader of the SHORE & Whariki Research Centre, Massey University. He is an expert in drug trends, drug markets, public health, and drug policy.

Mark Henaghan – Professor of Law at the University of Auckland.

Symposium Podcast – Part One: 


Symposium Podcast – Part Two: 


For more of our audio and visual content, check out our YouTube channel, Mixcloud page, or head to the University of Auckland’s manuscripts and archives collection.

This online symposium is part of a content-sharing agreement with the Equal Justice Project.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this discussion reflect the opinions of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

See Also:

Is it time for a law change on cannabis use in New Zealand?

Are public referendums the right way to make law?