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Hamilton leads the way on Legal Highs, Auckland must follow

18 February 2014

Hamilton City leading the way on Legal Highs, Auckland must follow

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton and Deputy Chair Simeon Brown submitted to the Hamilton City Council today as it hears submissions on its draft Psychoactive Substances Policy. Hamilton City Council has produced a draft policy which will restrict the sale of legal highs to the inner city and to areas of the Te Rapa business district.

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton applauded Hamilton City Council for showing strong leadership in producing this policy and is calling for Auckland Council to follow suit.

"The Hamilton City Council is showing real leadership on a controversial issue, seeking the communities input into how the harm from theses substances can be reduced."Over 500 submissions were received by Hamilton City Council, showing that this is an issue of real concern to the community, and we are pleased to have played a part in supporting this process.

"Auckland Council has a moral obligation to begin the process and create their own policy to further restrict and regulate the sale of these harmful substances," says Ms Dalton.

Manurewa Local Board Deputy Chair Simeon Brown who also spoke in support of Hamilton City Council's submission said the time was right for Auckland Council to create a Local Approved Products Policy.

"The ministry of Health has delayed the implementation of regulations for psychoactive substances till May next year. This gives Auckland Council a window of opportunity to clearly define where stores selling 'legal highs' will be allowed.

"As seen by the submissions received by Hamilton Council, this is a controversial issue, but one which the community is passionate about, and one where the council has an obligation to act," says Mr Brown.

The Manurewa Local Board has already released a position paper clearly defining where 'legal high' stores will be restricted to in Manurewa, which the Ministry of Health has confirmed will be taken into account when making licencing decisions in the Manurewa Local Board area.

ENDS

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