Little response to call for legal highs opposition

20:02, Mar 24 2014

Just five people have emailed Southland District Mayor Gary Tong and Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks to voice their opposition to legal highs.

Last week, Mr Tong and Mr Hicks called for southerners to speak out and email them expressing their opposition to legal highs.

They promised to take the emails to Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne in an effort to get the Government to ban the drugs.

Yesterday, Mr Tong said he had read three emails and received one phone call against legal highs.

Mr Hicks said he had received two emails against the drugs, which was a "bit disappointing", but about 20 people had mentioned the issue to him.

Mr Tong said he expected more people to contact him as awareness around the issue grew.


He would attend a community meeting in Winton tonight to discuss the drugs. He expected the meeting to be well attended. "Southlanders are a bit backward in coming forward, but it's early days, and I think it will evolve."

He understood that health board representatives would be at the meeting, which is at the Winton Salvation Army Hall at 7pm.

He still wanted to hear from as many people as possible on what they thought of legal highs.

Email him at, or Mr Hicks at

The Southland Times