The prosecution of a woman for selling "legal highs" next to
her dairy has hit some speed bumps in the Whanganui District
The lawyer for 49-year-old Lina Fan has called the
Psychoactive Substances Act "confusing" and the judge
required more time to consider the matter.
Fan, who denies five charges under the new legislation, is
the first person in the region to be charged under the act.
The Gonville dairy owner made her second appearance in court
yesterday. But because there is only one other such case
being heard in New Zealand both her lawyer and the judge
needed extra time to consider how to proceed.
Fan pleaded not guilty before Judge Dugald Matheson to one
charge of selling or supplying non-approved psychoactive
substances, one of possessing non-approved psychoactive
substances for sale or supply and three other psychoactive
Defence counsel Debbie Goodlet said since the act came into
force on July 15 only one prosecution had been brought.
That person, Hui Xie of Hamilton, pleaded guilty to two
charges of supply and possessing non-approved psychoactive
products late last month and will be sentenced on December
Ms Goodlet said because the act was "a confusing, evolving
document" the list of approved substances was constantly
changing. One such non-approved substance, for which Fan was
charged with possession for sale or supply, had since changed
to an approved substance, she said. Because of this a further
charge of possessing non-approved substances was withdrawn by
She said Fan had wanted to sell the products in a separate
part of her Alma Rd shop in order to comply with the new
regulations, but her interim licence had been suspended after
"The suspension in itself is a serious punitive issue and
financial matter for her. This will further affect her
earning substantially, as will the ongoing suspension," Ms
She also referred to the difficulty in establishing a
suitable penalty for the charges and Judge Matheson said he
would need more time to consider arguments on the matter from
both Ms Goodlet and police prosecutor Sergeant Steve Butler.
Judge Matheson ordered Fan to reappear on Tuesday for the
matter to be heard again.
- Wanganui Chronicle