Submission weight against legal highs

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More than half the submissions to Waikato District Council’s proposed legal highs policy were opposed to the sale of synthetic drugs in the district.

Submissions on the policy numbered 483, most from towns to which it was proposed the sale of legal highs be restricted.

The majority of submissions were received from Te Kauwhata with 185, Ngaruawahia, 122, and Huntly, 77.

Raglan accounted for 45, six came from Tuakau and five from Pokeno. The remaining 43 were classed as district wide.

The council’s Psychoactive Substances (Local Approved Products) Policy aims to keep the sale of legal highs out of residential neighbourhoods and away from sensitive sites such as schools.

It is provided for under the new Psychoactive Substances Act 2013, which enables the council to exercise some control over the location of premises selling the synthetic drugs. It cannot ban the sale of the legal highs outright.

More than half of the submissions were opposed to the policy with 307 recorded as against, 163 in support, eight as ‘don’t know’ and five didn’t state a position.

Of the 483 submitters, 79 have opted to present in support of their submission at a hearing.

Customer Support General Manager Sue Duignan thanked all the submitters for taking the time to put forward a submission.

Council staff will now summarise the submissions into key themes for each town and then reassess the proposed policy based on the matters raised in the submissions.

Hearings are expected to be held in early May.

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