Coun­cil at odds over taxi stands

South Waikato News - - NEWS / HE PURONGORONGO - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Taxi stands have been struck off as a sen­si­tive site for the district’s Lo­cal Ap­proved Prod­ucts Pol­icy.

The sug­ges­tion ig­nited de­bate in the South Waikato District Coun­cil cham­ber dur­ing the pol­icy hear­ing.

Fri­day’s hear­ing brought in 23 sub­mis­sions on the pol­icy to re­strict syn­thetic cannabis prod­ucts.

A ma­jor part of the pol­icy is the sen­si­tive sites which in­clude a 100 me­tre buf­fer zone.

Pop­u­la­tion Health sug­gested taxi stands were to be in­cluded as a sen­si­tive site.

Deputy mayor Jenny Shat­tock was pleased to see the move would fur­ther re­strict the avail­able sites for re­tail­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Shat­tock it would mean the only place left to set up shop is va­cant land Gull will be left with.

Coun­cil­lor Marin Glu­cina ques­tioned the le­gal­ity of the move calling it a ‘‘crooked deal’’.

‘‘Know­ingly’’ tak­ing the risk to make it even more dif­fi­cult for re­tail­ers would be de­fraud­ing the com­mu­nity, Glu­cina said.

Fears of fac­ing a costly court bat­tle meant he was not will­ing to sup­port the idea.

‘‘We can’t shoot from the hip and be cow­boys,’’ he said.

Coun­cil­lor Jenny Shat­tock put her hand up in sup­port of the idea.

‘‘That’s where peo­ple can con­gre­gate and they do,’’ she said.

Mayor Neil Sin­clair made an ex­am­ple of Hamil­ton’s ex­clu­sion of taxi stands but Shat­tock re­fused to be com­pared to the city.

‘‘I don’t care what Hamil­ton has to be hon­est.’’

Sin­clair said there needed to be a ‘‘gen­uine’’ at­tempt to pro­vide land in ap­proved ar­eas.

The ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors voted against the sug­ges­tion to in­clude taxi stands as sen­si­tive sites but all voted for the LAPP to be adopted by Au­gust 20.

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