Mum of teen who died at music festival appeals for legalised testing as NZ First mulls u-turn

An Australian mother whose daughter died after taking MDMA at a music festival told 1 NEWS pill testing could prevent more deaths.

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The mother of a young woman who died after taking pills at a festival says testing could prevent more deaths and it appears a u-turn from NZ First could see it passed into law. Source: 1 NEWS

The mum's warning comes as New Zealand First, which has been staunchly opposed to legal drug testing at music festivals, is making a u-turn and reconsidering the option.

Nineteen-year-old Alex Ross-King took three MDMA pills at the FOMO Music Festival in Australia.

It was a 35-degree day in January, she overheated and became disorientated.

Her mother, Jen Ross-King, is now an advocate for drug checking services.

“Alex went to a music festival and she didn’t come home, that’s the bottom line - she was foolish and took drugs," Ms Ross-King said. 

“Part of the demise was she didn’t seek medical treatment soon enough."

The Police Minister’s bid to legalise pill testing here was initially blocked by New Zealand First.

At its annual conference recently the New Zealand First youth wing managed to convince the party to reconsider its opposition, arguing it could save lives.

“The Right Honourable Winston Peters' office and Minister [Stuart] Nash’s office are having a conversation about how we can positively move that issue forward,” said New Zealand First MP Tracey Martin.

Party members may meet with drug-checking experts.

‘What we would like is the opportunity to present some fact-based evidence to the party so that we can dispel some of the myths,” said Wendy Allison from KnowYourStuffNZ.

Ms Martin agreed a meeting is a good idea. 

“I’d love to go and spend time with them. I’d love to see how it works in the first person. I’m the mother of an 18-year-old, a 21-year-old and a 23-year-old and we know that kids do stupid things," she said.