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Issue No. 413 May 2017

Influencing attitudes at conference

Commissioner Mike Bush addresses the conference, with Police Minister Paula Bennett and Assistant Commissioner Wally Haumaha.

Police Minister Paula Bennett and Commissioner Mike Bush welcomed hundreds of delegates to the 8th Australasian Drug and Alcohol Strategy Conference (ADASC) in Wellington this month.

The event, co-hosted by New Zealand Police and Australian Federal Police, attracted guests from both hemispheres to Te Papa.

The theme was Influencing Attitudes – how can thinking and behaviour towards alcohol and drug use be changed?

Many presentations and conversations focused on the need for both enforcement and treatment, for partnership between agencies, and for good evidence.

“I’ve had very encouraging feedback – more than one delegate said it was the best conference they had ever attended,” says Mark Evans, Deputy Chief Executive Strategy and Chair of the ADASC Content Steering Group.

Overseas speakers included Michael Botticelli, former Director of the National Drug Control Policy at The White House; Tony Saggers, Head of Drugs Threat and Intelligence, UK National Crime Agency; and Mark Moore, Faculty Chair of the Hauser Centre for Non-profit Organisations at Harvard University.

New Zealand speakers included Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne; Professor Sally Casswell, Massey University College of Health; and Judge Andrew Becroft, Children’s Commissioner.

Topics included the harmful drinking culture, drug and alcohol testing in the workplace and predicting the Australasian illicit drug market.

Delegates were also asked to participate in panel discussions. The conference ended with a Q&A panel with the Australasian Police Commissioners.

ADASC is held every two years to bring together experts in law enforcement, public health and government to highlight and strengthen partnerships in relation to alcohol and other drugs.

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