Hamil­ton East a cau­tion­ary tale

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion/news -

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.

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