Cen­tral govern­ment gets it wrong

Matamata Chronicle - - Opinion -

Judg­ing by the letters to the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle about the sale of le­gal highs in Mata­mata it’s very clear that they are not wel­come in our town.

Equally we have first-hand re­ports of the unso­cia­ble be­hav­iour that re­sults in those places where they are sold.

We are given to un­der­stand by the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil that the cur­rent leg­is­la­tion does not al­low the coun­cil to say no to the sale of these harm­ful sub­stances.

It seems very ob­vi­ous that cen­tral govern­ment has got it wrong with this leg­is­la­tion and de­spite the ma­jor­ity not be­ing in favour of le­gal high sales, we have to de­fer to the mi­nor­ity. It doesn’t sound like democ­racy in ac­tion to me.

I’d urge the mayor and coun­cil­lors to sim­ply say no, we are not go­ing to have these sub­stances for sale in our town and demon­strate that the ma­jor­ity has the right to say yes to our peace­ful ex­is­tence.

You can al­most here the cheer­ing re­sound­ing around New Zealand when the Chron­i­cle head­line says

‘‘MPDC de­fies leg­is­la­tion and says no to le­gal highs’’.

Coun­cils from around the coun­try would be queu­ing up to see how we did it. the phone had been near Pohlen Park. Full searches were made in this area. Po­lice were also ham­pered by a limited and vague de­scrip­tion of the of­fend­ers. The vic­tim ad­vised po­lice he would con­tact us im­me­di­ately if the phone lo­ca­tion polling started again. To date it has not.

I would be in­ter­ested to know what the other two in­ci­dents were. We do need to know about these types of mat­ters and we do look into all re­ported in­ci­dents. I take rob­bery and vi­o­lence very se­ri­ously, and I do be­lieve that ev­ery­one has the right to be able to walk home safely, whether it be from a night out or oth­er­wise.

We do have an is­sue with a small group of peo­ple who are known to us. How­ever, there’s a great deal of dif­fi­culty in deal­ing with cases like this, in the early hours of the morn­ing, where we are limited to the ev­i­dence we have avail­able. It’s very easy to say ‘‘po­lice should take a stand’’ but I won­der what the writer is bas­ing that on. We are bound by the law on what we can do and peo­ple do have rights – re­gard­less of whether they are of­fend­ers, vic­tims, or oth­er­wise. I don’t wish to live in a so­ci­ety where po­lice make decisions based on vic­tims’ as­sump­tions or sus­pi­cions, of­ten based on race, be­cause too many times the ‘‘peo­ple’’ thought to have been re­spon­si­ble have been found oth­er­wise.

One of the great­est dif­fi­cul­ties po­lice face is a per­ceived fear peo­ple have or the men­tal­ity of ‘‘not want­ing to get in­volved’’.

It’s very easy to hide be­hind ini­tials or voice strong opin­ions while hid­ing. Po­lice are help­less without peo­ple com­ing for­ward. We po­lice the com­mu­nity at the be­hest of the com­mu­nity and rely on the sup­port of the com­mu­nity.

I would be more than happy to meet this per­son and talk to them about their con­cerns.

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