Plea to keep legal highs out of CBD

NARELLE HENSON
Last updated 15:35 12/02/2014

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More than 1000 signatures have been collected in a petition against legal highs being sold in the central city.

The Hamilton Central Business Association has been collecting signatures for the past two weeks and general manager Sandy Turner says the response is encouraging.

"Given that it was a very quick campaign, we're very pleased with the result."

The petition will be presented to the Hamilton City Council on Tuesday as part of association's submission on the draft psychoactive substances policy.

"We've put together a powerpoint presentation of photographs, and video evidence of some of the issues that our members are facing," she said. "We've got representatives from the different sectors supporting our submission.

"We've got the general manager from Genesis, Darryl Hadleigh from the Phoenix Group, myself and Greg Wills from Kiwi Income Property Trust."

She said about 75 association members had made submissions and many would be speaking to the council.

The association also planned to submit to Government more detailed restrictions on selling legal highs.

"One of the things that's of great concern to us is that there are fewer restrictions than if you own and run an off-licence.

"There don't appear to be any rules, or laws, or restrictions around selling to somebody who is already under the influence, there doesn't seem to be any warnings on the packaging."

She said the association met local National MPs David Bennet and Tim Macindoe to discuss the issue, and had been told that restrictions would eventually be put in place.

The draft policy being considered by the council labels the CBD as a preferred location for selling legal highs and Te Rapa as a secondary option. Submissions close at 4pm on Monday.

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- Waikato

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