Two discount stores in Northland have pulled glass pipes from their shelves after a couple's anti-drug campaign went viral.
Last Thursday, Erana Paraone and Wiremu Keretene, of Moerewa, approached a staff member at Coin Save store in Kawakawa and asked him to stop selling the pipes, most often used for smoking P or methamphetamine.
The couple — who have been working to raise awareness of the drug's dangers for a number of years, as well as supporting people trying to break their addictions — filmed their encounter in the store and posted it to Facebook.
As of Wednesday morning, it had been viewed more than 137,000 times.
The video showed a glass-fronted cabinet full of P pipes and Keretene politely asking a Coin Save staff member to stop selling them.
"You may have heard of methamphetamine. It's a drug which is basically destroying our people," Keretene told the sales assistant.
"We've just noticed that some of the utensils they use, you're providing to our community which we're trying to help. So we've come to ask you about taking them off the shelf.''
They couple also gave the store worker an information pack about their campaign and the dangers of meth.
The staff member said the pipes were intended for tobacco and sold only to adults, but acknowledged problems such as adults buying pipes and giving them to under-age users.
He said he was only a worker at the store so couldn't make decisions, but promised to pass the couple's request to his boss.
Yesterday, Paraone reported, also via Facebook, Coin Save had pulled the pipes from its Kawakawa and Kaikohe stores and had promised not to stock them in future.
She thanked the store manager for hearing and supporting their kaupapa or proposal.
Paraone also urged residents to visit to the store to offer staff a handshake or a thank you for their support.
The couple were now turning their attention to the import of P pipes, questioning why possession of drug utensils was a crime yet businesses were allowed to import and sell drug paraphernalia under the guise of tobacco pipes.
Methamphetamine use has become an increasingly serious problem in Northland in recent years.
Testing of Whangarei's wastewater — one indication of the amount of P being used — found levels of the drug twice as high as in Auckland and four times Christchurch levels.