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Council to vote on legal highs policy

By Mike Dinsdale

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Whangarei District Council is to discuss where legal highs would be sold if they were reintroduced.
Whangarei District Council is to discuss where legal highs would be sold if they were reintroduced.

Whangarei District Council is expected to adopt a policy today to restrict where legal highs can be sold in the city.

The council put out a draft locally approved products policy (LAPP) for consultation that aims to restrict where psychoactive substances - also known as legal highs - can be sold in the central city to Lower Cameron St, Clyde St and Albert St.

When it put its Draft Psychoactive Substances Policy out last month it received 80 submissions.

Since then the Government has bowed to public pressure and banned all legal highs.

However, the products can be reintroduced if they are tested and found to be safe, meaning the council is going ahead with its LAPP in case it is needed in the future. The council will meet at an extraordinary full meeting tomorrow to vote on a final policy.

On May 27 a workshop was conducted and councillors considered the submissions regarding the Draft Psychoactive Substances Policy.

From the deliberations the following amendments have been made in the final draft being put before Council for adoption:

The location defined has been amended and removes the areas within the location that border Walton St. The purpose for this is to further enhance the policy's objectives of minimising exposure to, or risk of harm to, vulnerable communities.

The areas that have been removed border a significant arterial route to and from the inner city and are visible from other locations such as licensed premises and the bus terminus in Rose St.

The amount of Clyde St within the defined location has been reduced. Further to the amendments, deliberations also covered the site of Idea Services, who support people with intellectual disabilities and their families, within the defined location.

Meeting the needs of a vulnerable community, the Idea Services site has been provided for as a sensitive site by excluding this site from the defined location and brings the boundary of the defined location in Clyde St to the North Western boundaries of properties numbered 28 and 25 Clyde St.

Council staff have recommended that the policy be adopted.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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