Hamilton East a cautionary tale
I urge Matamata people to make submissions against proposals that will allow legal highs to be sold in town.
I work in Hamilton East where such a shop opened and have seen first-hand the dramatic decline in the area as a result.
We now have fulltime security guards on the street to deal with loud, aggressive people hanging around.
The streets are a disgrace where these people have urinated or vomited, and there have been occasions where faeces have been left in shop entrances.
There have been assaults, people begging or comatose in the street, and semi-naked people performing sexual acts in public, presumably to ‘‘earn’’ money for legal drugs.
There is a very real chance that allowing a legal high shop in town would have a serious effect on local businesses, discourage visitors and threaten the safety of Matamata residents.
Any by-laws which would let a legal high shop open even within 500m of schools, parks, cafes or bars, liquor outlets, clubs, the i-SITE or any retail shops is too close for Matamata!
After the experiences of Hamilton East we can expect groups of junkies high on drugs abusing passers by, soliciting for money, fighting and generally making life unpleasant for shoppers and shopkeepers.
Can you imagine what visitors will think of our area – come to see Hobbiton and meet the junkies?
The council can’t prevent the sale of these drugs but that doesn’t mean they have to destroy our main streets by letting them be sold there.
These shops should be well away from decent people and main shopping areas, preferably in industrial areas.
I hope everyone will make submissions to the council objecting to its crazy proposals and make sure our shopping areas remain safe for everyone.