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

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

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