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Rotorua council delays legal high hearing

Rotorua council delays legal high hearing following government announcement

As a result of the government's announcement on legal highs Rotorua District Council is postponing Thursday’s [1 May] scheduled hearing of people and organisations who made submissions on the council’s draft policy on psychoactive substances, until such time as government decisions have been finalised. Seventeen submitters had requested to speak to the mayor and councillors about their submissions.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick says she was very encouraged by the government’s signal this week that it intends taking immediate action to remove existing legal psychoactive substance products from the shelves of retailers.

New legislation is expected to be enacted in Parliament under urgency on 8 May and is likely to come into effect the day following sign-off by the governor general.

“We’re pleased the government has listened to the strong messages from councils like ours and heard the concerns of increasingly vocal communities on this issue," said Mrs Chadwick.

“It’s a common sense decision that we expect will substantially minimise the availability of these insidious and harmful products in our stores, and help reduce the harmful impacts they are clearly having on so many people in our communities.

However Mrs Chadwick said she expected that Rotorua District Council would still need to proceed with development of its Local Approved Products Policy on psychoactive substances as some products could likely come on to the market later when regulations for manufacturing have been adopted and a testing regime put in place.

“In the meantime we’re delaying our hearing of submitters on our draft policy to give us time to see what the government’s proposed changes will mean and what impact the legislative amendments will have on regulations and council policies.”


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