Legal-high action slow in Otago

Ten district and city councils have taken steps to enforce further controls on retailers of psychoactive substances.

However, Otago's councils are not among them.

The Psychoactive Substances Act allows territorial authorities to control the location of retailers within their districts by introducing a local approved products policy (Lapp).

The policies can control where retailers operate by excluding them from certain areas, and preventing them from operating near community facilities and other retailers.

Three councils - Napier City, Hastings District and Tasman District - have implemented Lapps, while a further seven councils have their policies out for consultation.

Dunedin City Council liquor licensing and project officer Kevin Mechen said the council would be developing a policy ''sooner rather than later''.

He was in the ''information gathering stage'' and was ''trying to identify how harmful this stuff is in the community'' and determining locations which were inappropriate for retailers, he said.

He would not be drawn on when the policy might be developed, but emphasised ''it will be sooner rather than later''.

Central Otago District Council planning and environment manager Louise van der Voort said the council was yet to decide whether it would have a policy. However, a report would go to the council later in the year.

Queenstown Lakes District Council regulatory manager Lee Webster said it was ''something the council would look at eventually'', but it was ''not one of the priorities'' at present.

The Waitaki District Council had not decided whether to develop a policy and a Clutha District Council spokesman said the council was not ''developing any policy in relation to this, nor does it have any plans to at this stage''.

- timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

What's happening
Councils developing local approved product policies.
In effect:
Hastings District, Napier City and Tasman District.
Out for consultation: Hamilton City, Hutt City, Matamata-Piako District, Nelson City, Palmerston North City, Waikato District and Waipa District.

 

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