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Ban proposed on mind altering substances in public places

Ban proposed on mind altering substances in public places

Keeping Gisborne’s public places free from people using mind altering substances is the aim of a change to the Public Places Bylaw. Gisborne District Council has recently consulted on a Psychoactive Substances Policy that is considering where retailers selling ‘legal highs’ should be able to set up shop. The policy can’t ban the use of these substances in public places, so an amendment to the Public Places Bylaw was proposed in April.

Since then changes to the Government’s Psychoactive Substances Act mean there are no approved psychoactive products permitted to be legally sold, says regulatory services manager Sarwan Kumar. “This may have an impact on the type of behaviour which the amendment to the bylaw was attempting to address.”

The bylaw change prohibits public use of mind altering substances (including psychoactive substances). It was approved by Council this week for consultation. The 2008 Public Places Bylaw is being fully reviewed later in the year and this change is an interim measure until that review occurs. Council is seeking feedback on the proposal to ban the consumption of mind altering substances in public places until 1 July.

Council has also reviewed two of its other bylaws and is asking for feedback.

The Food Hygiene bylaw requires all food premises to have sufficiently trained food handling staff and allows Council to issue a closure notice for unhygienic food premises or food handling.

“It is all about people being confident that the food they buy or are served is safe to eat. They need to know that the food has been prepared safely; the people preparing it are aware of health risks and have taken steps to manage that. No major changes are proposed to the Food Hygiene Bylaw other than a few wording changes to help make some statements clear.”

Few changes are proposed to the Mobile shops and Other Traders bylaw after being reviewed. The bylaw regulates trading from mobile shops, hawkers, stalls and itinerant traders in public places. It also places controls on the congestion, danger or nuisance which could arise from pedestrian or traffic volumes while trading in public places.

Minor changes to text have been made to the existing bylaw to assist with interpretation of the bylaw. The most significant change proposed is that council’s Group Manager Environment & Policy could cancel or suspend a licence rather than full council.

Copies of the draft bylaws and a summary of the proposed changes are available from Council’s website or from Customer Services in Fitzherbert Street and Te Puia Springs.

Written submissions are welcomed on Council’s website, by mail or email. Submissions close at 4pm on Friday 1 July 1014.

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