Syn­thetic drugs are ‘killing our peo­ple’

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE - TONY WALL

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira, whose nephew Kahu died af­ter smok­ing syn­thetic drugs, says deal­ers de­serve to die.

Kahu Harawira was found dead in a West Auck­land law firm’s carpark in June shortly af­ter smok­ing syn­thet­ics.

The coro­ner is in­ves­ti­gat­ing his death, and at least 19 oth­ers.

Hone Harawira, the can­di­date for Te Tai Tok­erau, said deal­ers ‘‘need to be put up against the wall and shot’’.

He said Kahu ‘‘had his demons’’ but was a ‘‘lovely bear of a boy’’. ‘‘His cousins miss him ter­ri­bly. ‘‘It’s a mas­sive hole in the fab­ric of our fam­ily.’’ Harawira said syn­thetic cannabis was ‘‘killing our peo­ple and some­body needs to take se­ri­ous ac­tion to stop it’’.

‘‘Do I know ex­actly how that should be? ‘‘No I don’t. ‘‘But do I want to send a mes­sage out there to those ... who are do­ing this?

‘‘Hell yeah. I do it as an un­cle, as a fa­ther and as a politi­cian.

He railed at politi­cians such as Peter Dunne for try­ing to reg­u­late the psy­choac­tive sub­stances mar­ket, un­der which peo­ple had be­come rich.

‘‘The peo­ple who made money from le­gal highs, they don’t de­serve the for­tune that they have – it’s a for­tune built en­tirely on mis­ery.’’

Harawira said peo­ple did not seem to care that 20 peo­ple had died, cit­ing ‘‘per­sonal choice’’.

But once some­one be­came ad­dicted to such sub­stances, ra­tio­nal thought went out the win­dow, he said.

‘‘If this was rich lit­tle kids from a well-off school there’d be a hor­ren­dous noise, there’d be MPs con­demn­ing this, there’d be a spe­cial com­mis­sion set up and im­me­di­ate ac­tion.

‘‘This is re­ally bad stuff, we are at a very nasty point in our so­ci­ety’s de­vel­op­ment when we can turn a blind eye to peo­ple be­ing killed.

‘‘Some­one’s ac­count­able.

‘‘But while we’re think­ing about it, peo­ple are dy­ing.

‘‘We ei­ther step up to the plate or we al­low it to con­tinue.’’ got to be held


Mana Party leader Hone Harawira wants ac­tion over syn­thetic drugs.

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