Kelly Cadogan (left), and Linda Forbes continue with their
protest outside an Oamaru dairy yesterday, despite
allegedly being sprayed with a water blaster. Photo by
Police in Oamaru are urging both sides of a dispute over
the sale of legal highs in the town to act responsibly, after a
dairy owner yesterday allegedly turned a water blaster on a
group of protesters campaigning against the sale of K2.
Police were called to intervene in the stoush between
protesters and owners of Meadowbank Dairy, in Thames Highway,
at noon, and although Senior Constable Carl Pedersen, of
Oamaru, said no charges would be brought, both protesters and
the shop owners had been spoken to.
Snr Const Pedersen said the shop owners had decided to do
some water-blasting work during the protest and had
''indirectly'' sprayed some of the protesters.
''Both parties have been advised how their behaviour should
be in regards to protest, what their rights are, and what
they can and can't do.
''Hopefully, if they are going to continue protesting, there
won't be any sort of confrontation.''
Linda Forbes, who had organised regular protests outside
Oamaru dairies since December, said the protesters had been
unfazed by the dampening, and would hold another protest
tomorrow. Earlier this week, Associate Health Minister Peter
Dunne announced two substances included in the synthetic
cannabis K2 product would be banned from May 9, but Mrs
Forbes said she had little confidence anything would change.
''All they will do is say they have removed the ingredients
and carry on selling it.''
Tom and Cheryl Johnston said they protested yesterday because
Mr Johnston's son was hospitalised after he was burnt when,
high on synthetic cannabis, he began huffing petrol, which
''He decided to have a session on K2 and then decided to huff
''He had just got a job and been offered an apprenticeship
and now it looks like he may lose it, all because he decided
to ... buy this stuff,'' Ms Johnston said.
Mr Johnston said his son suffered first-, second- and
third-degree burns to 17% of his body and would be in Oamaru
Hospital for another two weeks. He might also need to return
to hospital for skin grafts.
The owners of Meadowbank Dairy, which was last year twice
targeted by armed robbers demanding synthetic cannabis,
declined to comment.