Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


“Legal Highs” – What Next?

“Legal Highs” – What Next?

Legal highs are off the shelf for now, thanks to the Government’s temporary ban. Your local councillors are keen to use the breathing space to find out what the community wants the Council to do to control the availability of psychoactive substances once new products have been approved for sale.

Crs Merv Aoake, Ferg Ferguson, Ella Lawton and Cath Gilmour have organised a public meeting in Queenstown and a joint forum in Wanaka, to hear about the impact psychoactive substances – widely known as “legal highs” – have had on our community. It’s a chance for people to share their experiences, hear from the police and clinicians about the effects of legal highs, and find out what ability the Council has to control them.

In Wanaka, the legal high discussion will take place within the Wanaka Alcohol Group’s first Community Forum, which will continue the conversation about alcohol and drugs in the community.

“There’s no doubt psychoactive substances will be back on the streets in Queenstown and Wanaka – probably within a year,” Cr Cath Gilmour says. “We’re hearing from the agencies who take care of those suffering from addiction and withdrawal that if we don’t have controls in place, then retailers forced out of other centres will be looking to stake a claim on what it perceived to be a very lucrative market here.”

At present, the law does not allow Councils to place an outright ban on the sale of psychoactive substances that have been approved for sale under the Government’s testing and approval regime. There are lesser restrictions Councils can impose, through a bylaw or a Local Approved Product Policy (LAPP), that would prevent substances being sold, distributed or used in certain places. However, it will take months to go through the legal process needed to put any such measures in place.

“If we can get a clear steer from the community that people want the Council to put firm controls in place, then it’s possible we could have a draft LAPP on the Council agenda as early as next month,” Cr Gilmour says.

The first meetings is at the Queenstown Events Centre, Frankton, on Thursday 12 June from 7-9pm in the Mezzanine Meeting Room. The joint forum with the Wanaka Alcohol Group is at the Lake Wanaka Centre, Wanaka, on Wednesday 18 June from 7-9pm in the Armstrong Room.

Speakers will include representatives of the Police, clinicians, QLDC and also a former addict, who will talk about the impact “legal highs” had on her life.

• Psychoactive substances are known to have caused considerable damage in the Queenstown Lakes District community, including violence, psychosis, seizures, hospitalisation, anxiety and dishonesty offences.

• Until the Government introduced a ban last month, Queenstown had a retail shop for psychoactive substances; a warehouse for an Internet-based company selling psychoactive substances; and a manufacturing base for these substances. Under existing law, all three should not be producing, distributing or selling psychoactive substances.

• The Council has a limited number of options, including introducing a Local Approved Product Policy (LAPP) and amending the existing Control of Activities and Obstructions in Public Places Bylaw to prohibit the use, distribution or sale of any mind-altering substances in a public place. (Auckland Council has recently introduced a similar bylaw)

• Introducing or amending such policies and bylaws requires extensive public consultation and can take months to finalise. By beginning pre-consultation now, the Council aims to have effective measures in place to control the sale and public use of psychoactive substances by the time products are back on the market.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Team Behind Trump's Throne

Forget the Putin factor. Daily, the team of charlatans, bigots and stunningly ignorant crackpots that Trump is appointing to head key federal agencies is just as alarming. These are positions with vast power and budgetary discretion over policies that stand to affect tens of millions of vulnerable Americans. Sad! More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common. Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues... More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news