“No P in our community.”

That was the catch cry at a protest rally in Huntly today.

Organisers claim the scourge of meth is rampant in the town and local Latari Te Pana says P users and dealers can be found on almost every street.

“You know in every street of Huntly there's either user or a dealer, that’s how bad it is.”

Huntly Rangatahi organised this march against meth or P as they say they've seen an increase in the use and effects of the drug.

So much so that local Sheryl Matanga says it’s a common occurrence amongst the local families.

“I have whānau that have used it, I have whānau that are still using it and it’s become normal within our whānau, it’s become normal within our community.”

The multitudes were present. From kaumātua, rangatahi, gang members right through to some iwi leaders, including Tame Iti who is all calling out users and dealers.

“Kore e taea e tātou ki te aukati i tērā kai ngāngara, engari ko te mea nui kē, kia kōrerotia kei te hē ēnei mahi nā te mea kāre e tika mō te mana o te tangata.”

Matanga also adds the local's biggest concern is the future of their town.

“We're marching for our future and I mean for my kids I'm Huntly proud, I'm Huntly born and Huntly raised. The community now has changed a lot from the community that I grew up in.”

Local kuia Tutata Matatahi says the march is for the next generation.

“He ngārara te P nei, tēnei te aroha ki ngā mokopuna. They are using some of our kids from 8 to 9 years to do deliveries. The concern for us is that we won't be here to look after our mokopuna for the future. So it's all about the future. We don't want our mokopuna to get their brains cooked up.”

In two weeks’ time, there will be a hui to bring the community together to discuss this issue in the hope that the use of P is ruled out of town.

LIKE