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

More Evidence - Scoop Press Conference Recordings:
PM's Post-Cab Presser 8/8/11
"at that point [Tucker] told me he'd release it ..."

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>


 

Parliament Today:

Schools, PPTA Sign Up: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote Down Govt Plan

Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Usual Round Of Mud Slinging And Name-Calling

This week gave an interesting example of how hard it is to untangle the reality from the slanging matches. The issue that emerged early this week could hardly be more important. Does the government intend to cut spending in health, education and on the environment if re-elected, or not? More>>

Earlier:

Electionresults.co.nz: National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

ALSO:

It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

ALSO:

Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

"Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news