All legal highs to be removed from the market

Following a strong push from councils and communities around the country, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne, has announced the Government will introduce and pass, under urgency, legislation removing all remaining psychoactive substances from sale until they have been subject to a testing regime.

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President, Lawrence Yule, appeared on TV3s The Nation on Saturday morning with Minister Dunne. They debated the effectiveness of the current legislation and Lawrence reiterated the thoughts of many councils that the ability to 'regulate' the sale of psychoactive substances does not do enough to keep our communities safe. To watch the full interview, click here.

Minister Dunne says the amendment to the legislation will be introduced and passed through all stages under urgency on 8 May and come into force the day after receiving the Royal Assent. To see the Ministers full media release, click here.

Over the coming days LGNZ will work with the Ministry of Health and the Ministers office to determine what these changes mean and the impact these amendments will have on the proposed regulations and council policies, if any.

At this stage, LGNZ's view is that these amendments should have no effect on existing LAPPs, or those under development, as approved products will be available shortly after regulations for manufacturing have been adopted and a testing regime put in place. Councils will still need to have policies in place before regulations are made.