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Drug summit takes zero tolerance stance



Media Release

1 December 2008

Drug summit takes zero tolerance stance

Manukau Mayor Len Brown will speak with his community’s voice when he meets Prime Minister John Key this month to outline his city’s plan to attack the drugs trade.

Community leaders today joined crime fighters and representatives of government and non-government agencies at a mayoral summit on drugs in Manukau.

More than 100 came together to brainstorm the issues and agree an action plan that centred on taking a zero tolerance approach to drugs.

Mr Brown says dedicated police resources are needed to close down the P [methamphetamine] labs and tinnie houses in Manukau.

Mr Brown was joined by Deputy Mayor Gary Troup and Councillor Dick Quax in addressing the summit and, with fellow councillors Colleen Brown, Maggie Burrill and Anne Candy, listening to the insights and suggestions from the diverse range of participants.

Senior Police representatives included Counties Manukau District Commander Mike Bush.

“We in Manukau do not own the drugs problem: it is an international problem which we chose to address locally,” the mayor said.

“And within this city it is by no means a west-east or north-south issue; it is a city wide problem requiring a whole-of-community response.

“The summit is a practical and focused move in the right direction. With strong leadership, government agencies working together and widespread community support, we will break the chains of the drugs trade.”

The six-point action plan focused on:

Ø      A consistent strategic response

Ø      Building community capacity

Ø      Engagement, intervention for those involved in drugs

Ø      Zero tolerance for supply

Ø      Strong leadership

Ø      Targeted education for youth, parents and communities

Mr Brown says the drugs business underpins gang activity across the city and fuels burglaries, bag snatching and other crimes, petty and violent.

“For us to break the cycle of gang activity, we need to break the drug dealers in our city.

“I place the community at the heart of this Mayoral Summit because, without strong and clear commitment from the homes, the streets, the towns, we can not win this crucial battle for our children’s futures,” he says.

Mr Brown says the mayoral summit will become a mayoral task force charged with ridding Manukau of drugs.

A follow up meeting will be held next February or March to which young people will be invited to share their perspectives and suggestions.



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