More getting hooked as P gets cheaper

Methamphetamine is now estimated to be a one billion dollar industry in New Zealand and people dealing with addiction say the drug is getting cheaper and easier to get hold of.

Those on the frontline dealing with addiction say the drug is getting cheaper. Source: 1 NEWS

Addiction services claim seventy percent of their clients are now hooked on P and in some places it's now easier to get than cannabis, resulting in more people needing help.

But many are missing out as the demand far outweighs the beds that are available, meaning there can be a three to four month waiting list.

The cost for a point of P has fallen to around $80 to $100 and Whanganui alone has seen a 25% jump in meth use.

Other communities like Northland are also reported to be experiencing a real resurgence in methamphetamine but the police minister is not convinced.

"The health people tell me there's fewer people using it now but I think some of the people who are using it are using it more," Judith Collins says.

The minister says Police and Corrections are working together on enforcement and there's funding for rehabilitation, including beds for recovering addicts.

However Labour says the government's out of touch and police spokesman Stuart Nash says he'd be taking a very robust business case saying more police are needed on the ground.

Ms Collins believes that at the moment police are coping but says "in the future it's clear we're going to need more resources".

Vehicle ban confuses whitebaiters and beachgoers in Kāpiti

Whitebaiters on the Kāpiti Coast north of Wellington are scratching their heads and asking why signs and bollards have been put up banning them from driving along the beach to their prime fishing spot.

They have long used the Waikanae Beach Estuary, which borders a protected Scientific Reserve, as an entry point, despite bylaws banning vehicles.

The Kāpiti Coast District Council - who put up the signs - said it was taking a harder line on the rule which had been in place since 2009.

However, it confirmed it would continue to issue vehicle permits for whitebaiters.

Last year 21 permits were issued and numbers were expected to be similar this year.

John Robinson who lives at Waikanae said the rules were confusing.

"The [district council] is issuing permits which it has no authority to do so.

"That council can issue permits for people to drive along the sand dunes but it issues permits for people to drive along the damp sand which is under the control of the regional council.

"I just wish they'd stop muddying the water."

Council regulatory services manager Natasha Tod said the signs had gone up as a response to increasing concern from residents that people were driving along the beach.

"Since 2009 our beach bylaw has prohibited people driving along most of the coastline from the Waimeha stream north of Waikanae, down to Fisherman's Table south of Paekakariki.

"There are a couple of exceptions to this and one of them is the ability in the bylaw for council to issue permits for particular purposes and since 2012 this has allowed a small number of whitebaiters to have vehicle access to some parts of the beach for the purpose of whitebaiting."

She said both the regional council and the district council had responsibility over the beach.

"Down to the mean low-water springs mark - the area between mean high-water and mean low-water both the district council and the regional council have some area of responsibility for."

A regional council spokesperson said it did not issue permits and would only consider allowing beach access to the public under a resource consent.

Mr Robinson said the path was very close to the Waikanae Estuary Scientific Reserve, which was Department of Conservation land.

"It's a precious area, there's the shellfish and the birds - some birds would nest there if they weren't bothered so much. We've seen Oyster Catchers there chasing us away from a nest where a vehicle can drive by. It must be protected it's a really valuable area."

"It's also a lovely area for the public to walk across without vehicles going to and fro, in the whitebait season it's like a parking lot in there."

Vehicles are not allowed within the Scientific Reserve.

DOC operations manger for the region Jack Mace said attempts to enforce this rule were difficult because of the permits being issued by the district council.

"It has always been illegal for vehicles to drive on the beach within the reserve.

"Attempting to enforce this in the past has been difficult when people have been permitted to drive on the adjacent beach, and has led to physical threats to our rangers."

He said it was a good move by the district council to erect signs, reminding people that beach access by vehicle was illegal.

"We understand that during whitebait season especially this may be unpopular with some people, however the wider community have made it clear that they expect us to protect the reserve."

The district council said a review of its beach bylaw would get underway next year and vehicles on beaches would be considered as part of that.

- by Emma Hatton

Waikanae Beach. (Dan Cederholm) Source:


Hot compost caused medical event at Wairarapa school where students needed to be treated by medics

The medical event at a Wairarapa school where students and staff had to be treated by paramedics on Friday was caused by hot compost that was delivered to a neighbouring property, and a wind shift.

Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector Scott Miller said the fresh compost, which was heated to 80 degrees Celsius, caused the strong sulphur smell that people experienced at South End School.

The supplier of the compost, who hadn’t experienced this issue in 50 years in the business, confirmed to police that the product can cause a strong sulphur smell.

Emergency services were called to South End School on Friday afternoon. Source: 1 NEWS

“What we have confirmed, just after 1pm on Friday, one of the neighbouring properties next to the school, had a type of fertiliser, compost really, delivered,” Inspector Miller said.

“That compost was fresh and as part of that, was actually hot, part of the process for compost is to heat it up to 80 degrees Celsius.”

“That creates a sulphur smell, that sulphur smell can be very strong.”

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At roughly 1.20pm, the first children began to feel ill as a result of the smell.

Inspector Miller said that most of the children who felt sick were at the rear of the school, closest to the delivery of compost.

He added that there were unlikely to be any lingering effects for the children who felt most ill.

Emergency services were called to South End School on Friday after reports of an unpleasant smell.

Paramedics treated 40 other people, children and adults, with minor symptoms after being called to South End School.

Over 100 people also had to go through a decontamination process.

There were reports of a plane flying overhead at the time, but police ruled that out as the cause.

A number of children from South End School fell ill on September 21. Source: 1 NEWS


Hundreds of Fraser High School students stage mass protest after principal's anti-truancy speech

Nearly 150 students have staged a "wagging protest" following a controversial speech by a Hamilton principal.

Students from Fraser High School gathered at the gates and told 1 NEWS how they felt, following comments made by principal Virginia Crawford last week.

Read more: Hamilton principal slammed for speech saying truants were highly likely to become rape victims

Many said the speech had been taken out of context, while others said the principal's message was out of line.

However, another group of students opposed the action taken by their classmates, backing their principal's truancy message.

A flyer for the planned protest.

"These guys don't even know how to protest," one student told 1 NEWS.

"If they were protesting, they wouldn't be smoking, trying to make our school look bad.

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"They didn't understand the message the principal gave - even if it was harsh.

"I'd just love it if everyone goes back to class, gets back to their learning. They're not going to learn anything from protesting if they don't know how to protest."

More than 800 students from the Hamilton school gathered at the front gate today. Source: 1 NEWS


Colin Craig to reveal text messages detailing 'true nature of relationship with' Rachel MacGregor

Colin Craig has told the High Court in Auckland that he will present hundreds of text messages between him and Rachel MacGregor.

The former Conservative Party leader is suing his former press secretary for defamation. MacGregor has a counterclaim against Craig for defamation.

MacGregor was hired by Craig prior to the 2011 and resigned just days before the 2014 election.

She filed a sexual harassment complaint against Craig, and the pair reached an out of court settlement which included a confidentiality agreement.

The Human Rights Tribunal ordered Craig to pay MacGregor $120,000 after it ruled that he had breached the agreement by talking about her in media interviews.

Craig told the court that the pair had a 'close affectionate' working relationship and a personal friendship.

"We shared similar interests and values, including a Christian faith," he said.

Craig said they would often work 50, 60 hour weeks and would correspond positively with each other through hand written letters and text messages.

Craig said hundreds, possibly thousands of text between the pair will show the 'true nature of the relationship'.

Craig said MacGregor had a very different view of their relationship and that led to the allegations that he had sexually harassed her.

After the 2011 election result, Craig claims he and MacGregor went back to the Conservative party headquarters where they kissed and 'things progressed slightly further'.

"It will be my evidence I stopped that, and I went home."

He said they agreed it regretted and they worked to put boundaries in place to ensure it didn't happen again.

The trial has been set down for two weeks.

The former Conservative Party leader says that defending a defamation case taken against him is all about protecting his reputation.
Source: 1 NEWS