Dairy's Instant Kiwi drug deals

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 13:00 28/11/2012

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New Zealand Lotteries has barred a Nelson dairy from giving away free Instant Kiwi tickets to promote its legal high products.

Haven Road Store on Haven Rd was using a Facebook page with more than 270 followers to market its legal highs until yesterday.

Its tagline was "Nelson Gets high @ Haven road store (sic)", and shoppers were invited to buy one packet of legal highs for $20, the second for "only $15" and the third for $14.

"All legal highs from $20 and when you buy more you save more," it said, advertising "new legal highs in stock ... better and stronger".

Another promotion said "grab one legal high from us and get Instant Kiwi ticket absolutely free to win money".

There was also a "massive discount" on a product called Bonsai Gold, inviting people to "buy 5 and receive 5 free".

Stoke woman Robyn Hogg said she was "appalled" with the store's "incredibly aggressive" marketing.

Mrs Hogg said she went to see the store owner, got down on one knee and begged him to stop selling legal highs.

She said his reply was that other dairies in Nelson were selling them too, "and why should he miss out?"

"The aggressive marketing gets me. The way they're offering 'buy 5, get 5 free'. That's going to bring them [buyers] back, flocking for more. He doesn't know what's in the product. It's an unknown substance. He is making money off these young people, and he doesn't have any social responsibility for his community."

New Zealand Lotteries called the Haven Road Store yesterday, and asked the owner to stop the Instant Kiwi promotion.

New Zealand Lotteries spokeswoman Karen Jones said while the highs were legal.

"It is not an association we want with our lotteries products.

"It's just not something we want our brand associated with. We don't think it's appropriate," she said.

The dairy owner, who did not want to be named, said he did not know he was not allowed to give away Instant Kiwi tickets with legal highs, and he stopped the promotion as soon as New Zealand Lotteries told him to. The Facebook page - Haven Road Lotto Nelson - is no longer up.

"We probably had two customers who got those free scratchies," he said.

The dairy owner said he was offering deals on legal highs, via Facebook, because they were ones he was expecting to be banned soon and he was trying to get rid of them.

"While it's available, we'll do it. It's just a business for us. If I don't have these products, someone else will sell it."

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne's new laws to regulate legal highs, which would ban dairies from selling them, are expected to be in place by the middle of next year.

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Mrs Hogg said it was a long time to wait, "and I know there are a lot of people struggling with this stuff".

- The Nelson Mail

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