Kāpiti Council gives green light to Legal Highs

A motion that would effectively ban the sale of legal highs in Kāpiti was lost at the Council meeting last week.

Councillor Jackie Elliott moved that KCDC take no action that would facilitate the sale of any substances under the jurisdiction of the Psychoactive Substances Act. This was seconded by Cr David Scott who said for him this was a moral and ethical issue.

“It is completely unacceptable for this council to assist in any way the sale of these dangerous substances to our young and vulnerable,” he said.

Cr Elliott’s motion was supported by four Councillors but was voted down by the mayor and Crs Gaylor, Bell, Ammundsen, Cardiff, and Cr Michael Scott.

The meeting then heard the staff motion that council allow the sale of the legal highs but restrict them for sale to one area on Kāpiti Road.

Most of the councillors and mayor who supported this motion argued that placing the restriction would prevent the widespread sale of legal highs.

“I am making this decision for you young people,” said Mayor Church. “We make this decision for the people of Kāpiti so limiting it to one part of Kāpiti Road means 99 percent of Kāpiti won’t have it.

Cr Elliott said the assertion that by limiting a shop to Kāpiti Rd so that 99 percent of the district won’t have access to legal highs was one of the stupidest comments she had ever heard in the council chamber and the fact that so many councillors repeated it was astonishing.

“It is like saying 99 percent of Kāpiti don’t have access to Briscoes because they are down in Ihakara St. It completely defies logic. People have cars and public transport and then there is the internet.

“Council had a chance to send a strong message that we don’t want to facilitate the sale of these dangerous drugs and they didn’t take it,” she said.