Timaru Herald has a clanger


via Stuff

via Stuff

The Timaru Herald sends Rosa Studholme out to check if local dairies are selling legal highs and how this is affecting the local schools, and she comes up with nothing.

Not wanting to waste the time and effort spent, she creates a non-story.

The impact of synthetic cannabis sold in South Canterbury communities has not yet been felt at schools.

Not yet!

It should have stopped there.

A sting operation by The Timaru Herald last week revealed three Timaru dairies continued to sell the products, despite Timaru Mayor Janie Annear appealing to retailers to stop selling them.

A sting operation?

She walked into a number of dairies and looked for the product on display, or perhaps asked for some?

How is this a sting operation?

Ok, so they have nothing so far.

Principals say although they are keenly aware of its presence in the community it was not present at school.

Timaru Boys’ High School rector Kevin O’Sullivan said he was not aware of any issues at the school.

“At this stage there is nothing we can put our finger on.”

Still not a story then.

Is there any way this can be rescued at all?

Timaru Girls’ High School’s Sarah Davis said she felt “in the dark” about what signs of its use to look out for.

“We wouldn’t know necessarily if we had a student in the school that had had some on the way to school.

“[But] we’re not picking up anything.”


Still not a story.

Another try.

Opihi College principal Mike Wright said the school had not encountered any student under the influence of the substances.

“We are aware of their availability but are not able to comment upon what the effects of them on students due to a lack of cases that we are aware of.”


Legal highs not a problem in schools.

Perhaps a Hail Mary last ditch try?

Craighead Diocesan School acting principal Wayne Pahl said he was not aware of the products being present at the school.

Quite the result for a “Sting Operation” by the Timaru Herald.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.