Wanganui's youngest councillor and vocal "legal high" protester Jack Bullock says he won't quit his council seat after being arrested on a drugs charge.
Bullock, 23, was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis on Friday, one of 17 people arrested as part of Operation Valley. Others arrested face charges including the possession of methamphetamine for supply and cultivating and supplying cannabis.
Yesterday, Bullock told the Chronicle that he was willing to face the consequences of his actions.
However, he said those consequences would not include resigning from the district council, having been returned in the October election with 8667 votes, the second-highest-polling candidate.
"I'm not very proud of what's happened, but it's something I have to deal with and face up to," he said.
"I'm not going to resign. I know there are some people in this city who are not happy about that, but when you look at my track record over the last three years - and the three years before as a youth councillor - it goes to show I've done my part for our community."
Bullock also said he saw no issue "at this time" about the future of his job as a community support worker at Health Care NZ.
However, he did have worries about a public backlash following the arrest, as he had been a vocal protester against the sale of psychoactive substances, also known as "legal highs". Before one such protest he had a sign reading "DRUG DEALER" made to be put on one such retailer's shopfront.
"Clearly they are quite different substances," he said.
"When I have medical professionals telling me marijuana is safer for our young people and our community than synthetic stuff, of course I'm going to protest against it.
"Synthetic cannabis is full of all sorts of chemicals, whereas marijuana is a plant that grows in the ground and is natural. They're totally different."
He was adamant he had nothing to do with the people arrested for methamphetamine production and supply and he "was not a part" of their activities.
A police media release said children were uplifted from three of the sites raided last week and put into Child, Youth and Family care but Bullock said his child was not one of them.
Bullock said he told mayor Annette Main about his arrest via text message as he believed she was out of town, and did not want to disturb her at 9.30pm on a Friday.
Bullock is due to appear before a judge at the Whanganui District Court on Tuesday, December 3.
For more articles from this region, go to Wanganui Chronicle