Matatā residents fed up with P users littering in public spaces

By Leah Te Whata
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • North Island: East Coast

The Bay of Plenty area is dealing with what is being labelled a P epidemic. Residents of Matatā are fed up with P users discarding drug paraphernalia in public areas.

Matatā is a seemingly quiet East Coast town known for its white sandy beaches.

However, there is an underlying problem that is upsetting locals.

Matatā local Marsha Playle says, "Don't come here and smoke your P. Come here and visit and enjoy the view but don't you come here and smoke your P and leave it here for us to pick up."

During her daily walk to the beach, Marsha Playle came across P paraphernalia at the local domain.

"I came across a broken lightbulb and two methamphetamine bags."

Playle says the community, local council, and government need to work together to eliminate P in the Bay of Plenty.

"I'm hoping that the community does come together, which I reckon they will, and have a kōrero with the regional council and the Whakatāne District Council and the Department of Conservation."

Labour's East Coast Candidate Kiritapu Allan agrees.

"I agree with the whāea. I think that it's a whole community '360' approach. We're responsible. As you know, I'm an aspirant politician, our communities, our councils."

A public meeting will take place next week to address the issue of P in the Bay of Plenty.