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Peter Dunne

21 February, 2013

Dunne welcomes Christchurch police stance on legal highs

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne today congratulated Christchurch police on their campaign against legal high retailers in their communities.

Mr Dunne said he was particularly impressed by the decision to put posters in dairies not selling legal highs declaring that those businesses care about the young people in their community.

“Police see the cost of these substances and I really do congratulate them on taking this action,” he said.

Earlier this month, Mr Dunne advocated a Hawke’s Bay community demonstrate its opposition to a dairy selling legal highs with sweets. That particular dairy has since bowed to community pressure and no longer sells legal highs.

“That is a good result – and I make no apologies for encouraging active community disapproval of predatory businesses.

“I see this very good police move as proactive and community-focused and very much aligned to consumer action to choose not to give their trade to the kind of business that is happy to take money to exploit young New Zealanders.”

Mr Dunne confirmed that legislation reversing the onus of proof so legal high manufacturers would need to prove their products safe will be in place by August.

“Until then, we have the temporary class drug notices in place, and they have taken more than 30 substances and 50 products off the market. Now we have communities starting to say they do not want this kind of business operating in their midst.

“Well done, Christchurch police!” he said.

  • Peter Dunne
  • Health