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

 

Licensed hemp grower's crop stolen by Police

A licensed hemp grower on the East Coast has had his trial hemp crop stolen by Police.

Willie Kaa is part of a collective of growers working with Hikurangi Hemp to develop medical cannabis products from industrial hemp plantations.

Mr Kaa recently planted 16 hemp cultivars supplied by Hikurangi Hemp as part of a strategy to build local industry and employment opportunities on the East Coast. The trial crop was planted on Rangitukia Station just north of Ruatoria.

“Willie put a lot of effort into this trial – he had to spend money and a lot of time preparing a suitable site, applying for the Industrial Hemp License from Medicines Control at the Ministry of Health and even organising visits from the local Police officer to inspect the site. We then provided training and provided plants after Willie spent long hours digging the holes, fertilising the ground, staking the plants and organising irrigation.

Yesterday a Police drug squad from outside the region came into the area and raided Mr Kaa’s property, removing all 16 plants and leaving no information on what they had done or why they had acted in an unlawful way by removing an agricultural crop that was being grown legally.

“Local Police have since offered apologies on behalf of their colleagues, but this situation is very concerning” said Mr Caddie. “We are trying to develop a new industry with a huge amount of regulatory hurdles, technical challenges and financial barriers – the last thing legitimate growers need is this kind of cavalier fly-boy approach by a small group of public servants who are supposed to enforce the law, not break it.”

Mr Caddie said he understood the officers involved mistook the plants for illicit varieties of cannabis but that explanation was not good enough.
“We need absolute assurance that Police internal communications are water-tight on licensed growers. We are growing crops worth millions of dollars and need to know they are not at risk from Police incompetence and poor information sharing.”

Mr Caddie said licensed growers and their growing sites had to be visited by local Police officers before licenses were granted and even in that process there were mistakes and long delays.

“License applications are passed from the Ministry of Health to Police national headquarters but from there it seems like a lottery as to whether your application gets passed on to the right people. In our case many local licenses sat on desks in various levels of the Police organisation while staff were on leave or just didn’t prioritise passing the information on to the local staff who need it to check with the growers before applications can be approved.”

In one case a grower was unable to be located by the local Police officer because his colleagues up the line had passed on incomplete information, in another case a local grower received a license for someone growing in the South Island.

Mr Caddie said there needed to be accountability for what had happened as Mr Kaa and his whanau were now going to be well behind in their growing for the season and it may be too late given the hot, dry weather.

“We will be encouraging Willie to notify the Director General of Health as required under Section 38 of the Industrial Hemp Regulations that plants have been removed without authority and request the Police Commissioner investigate both the incident and the systems failure that seem to have led to this unacceptable situation.”

Mr Caddie said it was a sad irony that the incident took place on the same day the Government announced plans to allow medical cannabis to be grown in New Zealand and with a crop that could have been used in some of the first New Zealand products available to New Zealand patients.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Global Factors Facing TV3

Oaktree Capital gave MediaWorks a gallows reprieve in 2013 by pushing out its former Australian owner Ironbridge and facilitating a receivership-driven restructure that enabled MediaWorks to shed a burden of tax liabilities and international programme purchasing contracts. Oaktree eventually assumed 100% ownership of Mediaworks in 2015.

But here’s the rub. In May of this year, Oaktree itself was bought into by the giant Canadian firm Brookfields Asset Management... In the light of the Brookfields stake and the uncertain state of the global economy, Oaktree has come under pressure to shed and/or streamline the underperforming assets in its portfolio. More>>

 

Bullying Investigations: Police Commissioner Announces Independent Review

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced an independent review of the systems and processes NZ Police has in place to address complaints of bullying. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Now We Are Two

Questions covered Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments on the potential closure of Mediaworks' television channels, the Auckland light rail planning process, the select committee report on the Zero Carbon Bill and its methane target range... More>>

Court Issues New Guildines: Revamp Of Meth Sentencing Welcomed

The court accepted submissions by both the New Zealand Bar Association and the New Zealand Law Society that rather than solely focusing on the quantity of meth involved, there should be greater focus on the role of the offender. More>>

ALSO:

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels