P marchers receive overwhelming support

Marchers have received overwhelming support and toots as they have walked through the towns of the North Island campaigning against the use of the drug P.

"We've got the support of the whole of New Zealand," march organiser Marie Cotter said.

"It just shows you everybody wants something done about P -- the cars that toot and carry on, it's just unreal."

The march began in Auckland on Monday and the 100 marchers, including grandmothers and primary school children, have travelled by bus between the main centres, then marched through the streets.

"We've had no anger from anyone and we've held up traffic and they've tooted in support as they've come behind us."

The marchers expect to arrive at the Wellington railway station at 11.30am today, where they will march to Parliament steps arriving at 12.30.

Ms Cotter said a highlight was meeting Howard Morrison, who joined the march through Rotorua on Tuesday.

She praised him for the work he had been doing with drug abusers there.

"He said it's a very bad problem in Rotorua."

After four days of marching and travel, Ms Cotter said some of the children were feeling tired, but their grandparents were there looking after them, and it would be something they would never forget.

Henry Kotara, 69, from Kerepehi, Hauraki Plains, drove to Auckland to join the march and said there was a real spirit among the group.

"The spirit among us all is wonderful -- it hasn't rained for the past three days on us."

He said he was staunchly opposed to any drug that could lead to the "hard stuff".

"We've had tremendous support from people, but I know there are people still in the woodwork just looking -- those ones quite possibly that peddle the stuff," Mr Kotara said.

Ms Cotter said the planning for the march began three months ago, after a colleague in Pukekohe shed tears on her shoulder about the effects of P on her family.

Ms Cotter initially set up a website and network for people to gain information on the drug.

She said she hoped the country's leaders would fund more services and education on the effects of P.

- NZPA

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