Coun­cil lays down le­gal high pol­icy

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

Af­ter con­sid­er­ing writ­ten sub­mis­sions from 340 people and hold­ing a hear­ing on March 5 at which 22 people pre­sented their sub­mis­sions, the Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil adopted the draft Le­gal Highs Pol­icy at its meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, March 26.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Mayor Jan Barnes thanked the com­mu­nity for their feed­back.

‘‘We val­ued all the sub­mis­sions pre­sented to us and ap­pre­ci­ate this was a sen­si­tive topic for our com­mu­nity,’’ she said.

‘‘Given the limited power cen­tral govern­ment gave us we were faced with a tough de­ci­sion on where le­gal high stores could be lo­cated and we un­der­stand that no-one wants these prod­ucts in their town.’’

Coun­cil had to iden­tify sites where le­gal high prod­ucts would have to be lo­cated if some­one ap­plied for a li­cence to sell them un­der new govern­ment leg­is­la­tion.

Af­ter con­sid­er­ing all lo­ca­tions it was agreed that a high-pro­file lo­ca­tion will act as a de­ter­rent as well as pro­vide prom­i­nent po­lice and pub­lic sur­veil­lance.

The Le­gal Highs Pol­icy

lim­its the sale of le­gal highs to:

Broad­way Mata­mata, be­tween Tainui St and He­tana St

Thames St Mor­rinsville, be­tween Canada St and Studholme St

Whi­taker St Te Aroha, be­tween Boundary St and Lawrence Ave.

Other re­stric­tions adopted in­cluded:

A 300 me­tre re­stric­tion be­tween re­tail premises sell­ing le­gal highs.

A 25 me­tre re­stric­tion from sen­si­tive sites.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Don McLeod said it was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion for the coun­cil but the re­stric­tions adopted in the pol­icy ef­fec­tively mean there could be one le­gal high re­tail out­let in each town.

‘‘Coun­cil felt this was a good bal­ance be­tween recog­nis­ing the gov­ern­ments’ de­ci­sion to le­galise and re­strict the sale of le­gal highs and the con­cerns of the com­mu­nity to pro­tect their towns,’’ he said.

It was agreed that lim­it­ing the sale of le­gal highs to one store per town is a rea­son­able re­stric­tion given the pop­u­la­tion of the Mata­mata-Pi­ako District.

‘‘We share the com­mu­nity’s con- cerns and agree that there is no ideal place for these prod­ucts to be sold,’’ said Barnes.

‘‘How­ever we feel this is the best op­tion to safe­guard our com­mu­nity and min­imise harm in our towns.’’

The pol­icy takes ef­fect im­me­di­ately; how­ever there are no le­gal high stores in the district and no pend­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for le­gal high stores to open.

Any ap­pli­ca­tions would be con­sid­ered by the Psy­choac­tive Sub­stances Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity af­ter the new reg­u­la­tions take ef­fect in mid-2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.