Eastern Courier : April 8th 2011
3 EASTERN COURIER, APRIL 8, 2011 NEWS Howick's Great Treasure Hunt Fantastic Prizes to be Won! Look for competition etails in Wednesday's edition of the Report outlines the danger of imitation cannabis products By NICOLA WILLIAMS Young people are being put at extreme risk because the government isn't taking a stronger stance on synthetic cannabis products. This is the view of former Manukau city community safety portfolio leader Dick Quax. A group of drug and health experts submitted a report to the government about the dangers of imitation mari- juana-style cigarettes readily available in many dairies. Although the products are legal they have a similar effect to cannabis and their accessibility and lack of advertising restrictions has alarmed parents. The regulations are archaic -- there's no relation to the real world,'' Mr Quax says. Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has recom- mended the product be restricted to those under 18. An amendment act is before Parliament awaiting its second reading to allow hazardous substances to be classified as restricted sub- stances. The legislation will allow the government to prevent sales to young people and restrict marketing. The products are not al- lowed to be sold at service stations but there are no restrictions on sales in dair- ies.Mr Quax says the government's response was extremely weak''. I found that about half of all dairies in Pakuranga and Howick are selling products which mimic marijuana and are sold in ready-to-smoke joints. What is most disturbing is there is no age restriction on this stuff.'' Mr Quax says he has heard dozens of accounts on the negative effects of the prod- uct. Most reported young people vomiting, hallucin- ating, having difficulty breathing and elevated heart rates. What surprised me was that very few parents are aware that this stuff was so readily available to their chil- dren.'' He says most parents had never heard of the products. One dairy which is within 100 metres of a school ad- vertises openly at least three synthetic cannabis products.'' He says the government needs to follow the lead of other countries and make the product illegal. Mr Quax will lobby the government to take a stronger stance. Transport plans unveiled WORK on major new trans- port infrastructure for east Auckland is expected to begin towards the end of the year. The first significant stage of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative will be in Panmure. AMETI is a series of projects for the eastern suburbs aimed at increasing public transport use, walking and cycling, and unlocking the economic potential of the area by dealing with traffic congestion on key transport links. The upcoming work includes the creation of an enhanced transport inter- change at Panmure and a new road to take pressure off the Panmure roundabout before a new intersection is built. Final plans for the work will be on display tomorrow from 10am at the Panmure Community Hall. Plans showing the pro- posed urban busway from Panmure to Pakuranga and towards Botany as well as the replacement of the Panmure roundabout, although at an earlier stage of design, will also be on display. The first Panmure AMETI stage scheduled for com- pletion in 2014 includes: Major upgrades at Panmure station to create an inter- change that allows easy transfer between buses and trains. This will include a sta- tion for the new urban busway, improvements to the rail station, a new road with bus stops, improved ped- estrian and cycle connections and space for future town centre development. A new two-lane road with space for four future lanes linking Morrin Rd to Mt Wel- lington Highway. This will go under Mountain Rd and Ellerslie Panmure Highway and remove some through- traffic from the town centre, freeing up capacity for the future replacement of the Panmure roundabout. Constructing a 220-metre covered box between Ellerslie Panmure Highway and Mountain Rd with space for the new AMETI road. The new road where local buses will stop at the station will be built on top of the box. Raising Ellerslie Panmure Highway by two metres to allow for the new road and rail electrification, construc- ting a new bridge for the busway and replacing the existing traffic bridge, both with provision for a possible future third rail line. Realigning Mountain Rd east to meet Jellicoe Rd and replacing the rail bridge. Widening Morrin Rd to four lanes between Fraser and Tainui roads. Auckland Transport major projects manager Rick Walden says the plans show that significant progress is being made on AMETI. The clear message from people in the area is to get on with transport improve- ments. This shows that things are happening.'' Creating the covered box in the station area is of a similar scale to what was seen with the New Lynn station and what is being done for Manu- kau station, he says. Mr Walden says work is also under way on further developing concepts for the busway that would run from Panmure to Pakuranga towards Botany. The information day is on tomorrow from 10am-1pm at 7-13 Pilkington Rd, Panmure. Visit www.aucklandtransport. govt.nz for more information. Parents' first aid workshops could save children's lives Being prepared: Sarah Thompson is teaching first aid courses to parents through Plunket. Photo: NICOLA WILLIAMS By NICOLA WILLIAMS Go to www.easterncourier.co. nz to learn what to do if your child is choking. It could be the most import- ant lesson you ever learn. First aid courses are being held to give parents a valu- able overview of illness and what to do in the event of an emergency. Skills covered include CPR andwhattodoifachildis choking. They also help provide information on a range of illnesses. Fevers scare parents the most,'' course facilitator Sarah Thompson says. I'm an ex-ambulance paramedic and when I left to have children I realised how little information there was out there. With two medics in the family we still didn't really know some of the basics like what to do with a young baby who had a cold.'' Mrs Thompson saw the need for first aid courses specific to children. She is running Plunket- subsidised classes once a month at the Highland Park Community Centre on Aviemore Drive. Feedback I get is that having practised CPR and chocking techniques makes parents feel more confident about starting their child on solids.'' A Howick mother was able to save the life of her two- month-old who started chok- ing two weeks after she did the course. The next session is at the Highland Park Community House on Monday at 7.30pm. For information email first email@example.com or call Mrs Thompson on 287-7844.
April 6th 2011
April 13th 2011