Hikoi highlights ‘P’ problems

This year’s hikoi to Waitangi highlighted ‘P’ problems, which are a major issue in Northland. It’s a good choice for the hikoi, addressing problems that the community can and should do something about.

Northern Advocate: Northland hikoi from Cape Reinga to Waitangi demands end to P scourge

Marchers in an anti-P hikoi from Cape Reinga to Waitangi say they succeeded in raising awareness about the drug’s devastating effect on Northland – and where people can go for help.

More than 500 people took part in the final stage of the hikoi yesterday from the campground next to Te Tii Marae to the Treaty Grounds, where they were given a rousing welcome at Te Whare Runanga (the carved meeting house).

A day earlier about 50 people arrived at Waitangi after a five-day walk from Cape Reinga, with more joining in each time the hikoi passed through towns on the way.

While past hikoi have focused on environmental or land issues, this year’s called on Government and iwi leaders to do more to combat methamphetamine, also known as P.

The hikoi was also unusual in that it had wholehearted backing from the police, and some of the marchers called on the Government to boost police numbers so they were better able to fight the class A drug.

The Government recently announced a significant increase in police numbers.

Hikoi leader Reti Boynton, of Kaitaia, said in parts of Northland it was easier to find P than it was to get cannabis, and addicts had to wait three to six months to get into rehab. By then it was often too late.

The drug made people aggressive and willing to sell anything to get it, he said.

“It turns women into prostitutes, men into thieves, and takes food out of cupboards. And what is the Government doing about it? Nothing.”

I don’t think it’s true that ‘the Government’ is doing nothing about it, but ‘P’ has become a major problem.

And it’s not just up to the Government and the police to deal with social issues, society itself, and communities, need to take some responsibility in speaking up and acting.

Which is what this hikoi has done. Good on them.

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35 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  7th February 2017

    Let’s make our problems someone else’s problem. As always. And of course if some else could fix the problem we would just mutate our problem into a new problem.

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  7th February 2017

      Perhaps a good start would be that the people closest to the source of this problem stop supporting (directly or indirectly through inaction) the deadbeats peddling this shit.

      Unfortunately I instead see the marchers next setting up a facebook page to see how many ‘likes’ they can get……..

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  7th February 2017

        Yes, and teach their children life skills instead of death skills.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  7th February 2017

        I suspect Mayor Carter’s request that Northland welfare be incentivised to reward useful work would have a far greater impact on future P use than anything else being proposed.

        Reply
        • Kinda SOCIALIST though isn’t it Alan …?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  7th February 2017

            Turning destructive socialism towards productive individualism, PZ.

            Reply
            • So we could have been doing that all along eh Alan? All these last 30+ years …

              Instead we just destroyed what was good in socialism … incentive toward collective AND individual productivity plus sense of belonging and community …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th February 2017

              It’s interesting that although Sir Apirana Ngata and Sir Peter Buck were famously both hostile to the destructive effects of easy welfare money on Maori their commentary on that subject seems to have been completely edited out of contemporary history, no doubt by the Lefty PC academics who have flourished in the last decade.

              Try searching Google for the source statements – I couldn’t find any.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th February 2017

              I recall a quote from Ngata I think along the lines of:

              “They have ruined my people. They have given them money.”

              ..but it doesn’t exist anywhere Google could find it for me.

            • PDB

               /  7th February 2017

              I can find references from other people to what Ngata said but no actual quote……

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  7th February 2017

              Me too. It was far too politically pointed for the modern PC Lefty historian.

  2. Methinks the main reason that ‘Meth/P’ has ‘become a major problem’ in NZ; the cops are still effectively targeting cannabis cultivation/supply as ‘public enemy #1’ & obviously some users are turning to ‘P’, as a more available alternative ?

    There still appears to be a narrow-minded approach (by power-brokers) to drugs in NZ: ZERO-TOLERANCE. Meanwhile we can all smoke tobacco until we choke to death or get lung cancer & drink booze to our hearts content or become alcoholics !
    These are the real Drug problems/killers.. if THE truth is actually addressed, rather than ignored. (by the ostriches in Govt.) 😦

    Maybe time to Grow-up & move beyond the outdated ‘misuse of drugs act 1975’.. as most of the OECD is now doing.

    Reply
      • The photo towards the top of that article is borderline IMHO Noel, virtually an exercise in subliminal messaging.

        While I have no real knowledge beyond what’s fed me by the media or that I can research, and certainly no sympathy for gangs, this ‘stock image’ photo, apparently not directly related to ‘P’, shows three Head Hunter gang members [who appear to be Pakeha] while the caption underneath reads –

        “Traditionally, meth supply has been associated with gangs but large-scale importation is mostly Asian organised syndicates, a professor says.”

        So why not a photo of a convicted Asian crime syndicate boss or associate? Gangs get additionally tarred with the Asian (and other crime syndicate) brush … [note the word ‘additionally’]

        I’m not saying gangs aren’t involved. I’m only pointing out the subtle bias.
        IMHO the gang photo is there for one reason only, to incite fear and confirm bias …
        Its saving grace is that Head Hunters do have numerous convictions for ‘P’.

        Later – “He [Newbold] said the reasons for the increase in detection were not clear but large-scale importation busts were typically associated with Asian gangs and international syndicates, an often under-reported aspect of methamphetamine supply.

        Once the finished product is in New Zealand, meth is then sold to gangs for distribution.”

        Which gangs? Why not name them? As I understand it some gangs have outlawed ‘P’.

        “The professor said the number of clan lab busts has declined while importation cases increased.”

        Anyhow, its good to know that “no walk is going to change things” Noel …

        Does that include Tania Harris’s ‘Kiwis Care’ March on the 2nd of March 1981 … precursor to and exaggerator of the division in the nation over the Springbok Tour later the same year?

        https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/the-1980s/1981

        Hikoi and peaceful Marches are an ingredient in the mixture of social change …
        We should have more PRO ones IMHO … perhaps PRO-cannabis law reform?

        Reply
        • NOEL

           /  7th February 2017

          Ye Cheng and others didn’t appear for prosecution until 2016.
          IMHO I believe it’s too entrenched and the supply lines etc too established to imagine its suddenly going to disappear because of a hokoi specifically on Psuedoephridrine.

          Wasn’t much P around in March 1981 so don’t why that’s suddenly relevant.

          Reply
    • Noel

       /  7th February 2017

      Zedd.
      Same stats but interpreted without the bias

      Reply
        • @Noel
          I keep hearing this.. that cops are de-facto decriminalising cannabis. BUT then you just have to read the news headlines; they have just moved the focus to ‘creating a cannabis drought’ even reportedly employing RNZAF helicopters to ‘seek & destroy’ (FULL-scale WAR on Weed !!) so yes, it is open to ‘interpretation’.

          Until I read that (as is happening overseas) they actually stop OPPOSING ALL law reforms & stop arresting ALL pot-smokers, I’ll remain cynical on these issues. (ie Job Protection)

          They are just ‘talking the talk’ BUT not actually ‘walking the talk’.. you cant fool all the people, all the time. 😦

          Reply
        • PDB

           /  7th February 2017

          This comment about the article has a ring of truth to it….

          “I’ve long suspected that the police need marijuana to remain illegal as it probably makes their jobs considerably easier. Discretion can be exercised when no other crime has been committed, but it can be used as leverage when needed. Smell pot or sight plants and you have grounds for a search warrant, under which you might uncover stolen property or a meth lab.”

          Reply
          • … and intimidate people into snitching, prevent truly free association, maintain high levels of suspicion and ‘distance’ within communities and between people, to keep people living in fear …

            That’s what we need though, regardless of our Bill of Rights, regardless of Habeas Corpus, regardless of Magna Carta … regardless of mana, tikanga and tino rangitiratanga …

            Reply
          • NOEL

             /  7th February 2017

            Bit slow PartisanZ
            The change from “due cause” to detain to “I believe” has been around for a couple of decades. Ask any boy racer.

            Reply
  3. The real victims are the youth who are exposed to this horrible P substance, and it is not just here in NZ, it is a problem throughout the Pacific. I recall discussing the problem with the Republic of Palau’s Minister of Education in the early 90’s, and he was alarmed about the effects it was having on the youth of his country, and how quickly the consumers became addicted, and how heartbreaking was the detoxification process. The route for P is almost solely through China/Hong Kong into the Pacific, and we really do need the active cooperation of the Chinese Government to shut down the manufacturers of the precursors. The castration of the suppliers is the only way to kill it off.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  7th February 2017

      bjmarsh1 there are towns in China whose sole industry is disguising contact NT to avoid detection. China shut them down?

      Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  7th February 2017

    The other allegations are; relaxed restrictions on ‘Business visas’ (from China) & reducing the number of customs searches (containers) coming from overseas.. are also likely contributing factors. :/

    btw; a gram of Cannabis goes for about $15 on the blackmarket. Meth/P reportedly costs $1000/gram.. may also be another reason why there has been a shift, by dealers ?

    Reply
  5. NOEL

     /  7th February 2017

    Government departments spend too much time dealing with what should be instead of dealing with what is.
    http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/publications/indicators-and-progress-report-oct2015.pdf

    Reply
  6. Kevin

     /  8th February 2017

    Legalise and regulate.

    Basically allow people to manufacture and sell meth-based products but with strict regulations – e.g. limit percentage of meth in a product and where it can be sold, how much, and to whom. There could also be a database of buyers and sellers to identify problem users. Sellers would be required to pay a “tax” which would be used to pay for addiction-related problems and would also be required to report addicts.

    And at the same time give police extra powers to deal with addicts and also greatly increase sentences for users who commit crimes while under the influence.

    Reply
    • Pickled Possum

       /  8th February 2017

      Jeepers Really Kev that comment defies my belief, check out the photos on a healthy brain as opposed to a meth user after 14 months abstinence .

      https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/methamphetamine/what-are-long-term-effects-methamphetamine-abuse

      Great Grandparents they will not be after sucking on a glass pipe.
      How many generations will be lost to the wants and needs of P users.

      If cannabis is legalised IMO P would sink into the Thanks but No thanks pile.
      So yeah but No Kev. Is More tax a motivator for you.

      Does the money Alcohol rehab agencies receive from the Alcohol producing
      companies really helping the affected alcoholics? or just creating jobs for the new
      PHD and BA children the uni’s are churning out.
      The front-line policemen and woman will tell you some real horror stories
      that may change your view.

      Good on the people who did the hikoi to Waitangi to have their say.
      After all, that what Waitangi is all about
      For Maori to talk and bring attention to the very things
      that are ravaging their people.

      While my guitar gently weeps

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  8th February 2017

      I carefully read and took time to digest your post Kevin and after much thought came to the following conclusion;

      No.

      This is the sort of stuff that scares ordinary people out of doing something about legalizing pot (as we should do) because they see it as the start of the slippery slope of tolerating harder drugs that do real social damage. Talk of legalising meth has no popular support and only makes it harder to get cannabis reform through.

      Reply
      • Kevin

         /  8th February 2017

        @PDB @Pickled

        http://www.drugaddictiontreatment.com/types-of-addiction/the-most-addictive-substances/

        Meth will never be social acceptable no matter it’s legal status. And a good thing too. I’ve never tried it and don’t want to ever try it. I just can’t see the point of a drug that while it may give you a awesome high also gives you an extreme crash that lasts for days and it’s main purpose seems to be just to make you want to take more of it.

        My argument rests on the premise that most people are temperate drug users.

        As you can see from the link heroin is the most addictive drug there is. But even so it has something like a 20 to 30% addiction rate which means 70% of users aren’t addicts.

        Coming in at #3 is nicotine which means that it’s more addictive than meth which comes in at #5. So why isn’t nicotine illegal?

        Oh, and look who comes in at #6, just behind meth? Alcohol.

        And the two most popular illegal drugs, cannabis and MDMA, are no where to be seen

        To be fair though the reason why a drug is made illegal is not because of it’s addictive qualities but it’s potential for harm. That’s why drugs like LSD are rated Class A even though it’s not addictive. My argument is that by legalising and regulating you reduce the amount of harm both to the user and the people around them.

        Reply
        • PDB

           /  8th February 2017

          Kevin: “To be fair though the reason why a drug is made illegal is not because of it’s addictive qualities but it’s potential for harm”.

          Exactly, which somewhat makes the bulk of your argument (regarding ‘addiction’)obsolete.

          Do we really need reminding?

          William Bell: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3009039

          Ese Junior Falealii: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2098500

          Graeme Burton: http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/67978610/graeme-burtons-murderous-rampage-in-lower-hutt-hills

          Reply
          • Kevin

             /  8th February 2017

            The examples you cite would have been far less likely to happen if meth was legalised and regulated. The reason is even though there would still be addicts they would be taking a “diluted” form of the drug.

            Under the Misuse of Drugs Act drugs are classified under three categories:

            (a)
            drugs that pose a very high risk of harm are classified as Class A drugs; and
            (b)
            drugs that pose a high risk of harm are classified as Class B drugs; and
            (c)
            drugs that pose a moderate risk of harm are classified as Class C drugs.

            For example cannabis is classified as Class C, MDMA is classified as Class B, and meth is classified as Class A. What classification a drug is is decided by the EACD (Expert Advisory Committee on Drugs).

            And how good is the EACD on classifying drugs? Not very good it seems.

            http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2010/11/drugs_cause_most_harm

            So really mushrooms, ecstasy (MDMA, kind of), and LSD should be classified as Class C drugs, cannabis as Class B (should still be legal though) and nicotine and alcohol as Class A, with meth remaining a Class A drug.

            Just out interest the EACD recently changed Bath Salts from a Class B drug to a Class A drug. One reason was the number of deaths caused by idiots mixing it with alcohol but also because sellers were substituting MDMA for Bath Salts and so buyers were thinking they were buying E when they were really buying Bath Salts.

            Reply
            • PDB

               /  8th February 2017

              “alcohol as Class A”

              I think you’ll find that the total amount of serious alcohol problems when compared against the total amount of alcohol consumed by all users would be a very low %. The large % of people that drink alcohol have no ill effects from it, and in fact the benefits of drinking alcohol in moderation are well documented. You can’t say the same for P.

            • Kevin

               /  8th February 2017

              @PDB

              Alcohol is consumed highly-diluted. In it’s pure form I think you’ll find it rates up there with the Class A drugs.

              Here’s a question. If someone invented an “alcohol” pill, so that you could consume the equivalent of a bottle of rum by swallowing just one pill, do you think such a pill would be legal?

              By the way there is already a legal but less addictive form of meth. It’s called Adderall. If meth is ever legalised and regulated I’d expect it would marketed in a similar way as Adderall, but with strict regulations on how much methamphetamine a product can have.

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