HCC votes to restrict legal high sales to CBD

20:31, Feb 26 2014
Public hearing: what they said
HAMILTON INNER-CITY WORKER SAMUEL YU: "They not only do drugs but they also graffiti all over our store and urinate in the alleyway. We are sick of cleaning up for them."
Public hearing: what they said
STAR TRUST GENERAL MANAGER GRANT HALL: "Cannabis by any measure, despite all the abuse we’ve read about in the local paper, is the most incredibly safe recreational substance consumed in New Zealand. It’s got a record of zero deaths, ever."
Public hearing: what they said
TE RAPA BUSINESSWOMAN KARYN HAYWARD: "There are 30,000 vehicle movements a day in Te Rapa. If you want to keep it [legal highs] out of visibility of the general public I’m not sure how that would work."
Public hearing: what they said
HAMILTON EAST SCHOOL PRINCIPAL PIPPA WRIGHT: "It’s no longer safe to walk or ride along Grey St. We do not wish the undesirable behaviour to ever become normalised in the eyes of our children or any children.’’
Public hearing: what they said
HAMILTON INNER-CITY RETAIL WORKER KELLY KLINK: "We have to be escorted back home because of threats of being killed. You think I want this for my CBD? I don’t want this in our country at all."
Public hearing: what they said
HAMILTON CITY LICENSING SERGEANT JIM KERNOHAN: "They [legal high users] like to be interacting with the public so they can ask for money, so they can beg. They also smoke tobacco so they like to be around where there’s people who throw their butts down."

Hamilton City Council has moved to restrict the sale of legal highs to the central city.

In a 12-1 vote, the council's strategy and policy committee today voted to limit psychoactive drug sellers to the central city area and away from Te Rapa.

The council's psychoactive substances policy will be adopted at the council's meeting tomorrow.

Deputy Mayor Gordon Chesterman was the only one who voted against the recommendation.

The committee's decision will be a bitter blow to central city businesses who spoke out about the damaging effects legal high sellers were having on the central business district.

But Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker said the council had made "the best of a bad situation".

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The council had given the Health Ministry clear guidelines when it came to granting licences to prospective legal high sellers, she said.

The draft policy dictates legal high sellers operate at least 100m away from sensitive sites such as churches and schools.

Also added to the list of sensitive sites were the Waikato River, pharmacies, medical centres, "key bus stops" and stand-alone public toilets.

Almost 60 per cent of submissions on the council's draft psychoactive substances policy supported restricted legal high sellers to the central city.

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