CAPTION: Mr. Leone Matakibau gives his submission.

“Maritime Officers will also need to be included as Authorized Persons by the Minister in Draft Volatile Substance Abuse Decree.”

These were the words of former Civil Servant Leone Matakibau during the Public Consultation at the Shiu Raj Building in Rakiraki today.

A native of Qamea Island in Cakaudrove, the 64 year old retiree said that Maritime Officers precisely Boat and Ship Captains, Cabin Crews and Engineers be included as Authorized persons to have the powers for search and seizure of the sale and abuse of any volatile substances.

“I think you need to also consider those that use the sea as mode of transportation and that the abuse or supply of these substance whilst on the boat can be prevalent.  So there needs to be a provision to take to task those that have been found to have supplied or sold a volatile substance to a child whilst during the travel from Point A to Point B.”

In response Director National Substance Abuse Advisory Council Mr. Misaele Driubalavu said the recommendation will be taken in for consideration.

“I thank you for that submission and yes probably a provision for the maritime officers to hold onto the perpetrators and the victim until they reach the shore and hand over to the appropriate officers for further legal proceedings.”

Mr. Matakibau a Lay Preacher in the Methodist Church further added in his submission there also needs to be more workshops for all leaders of the church on the issues of drugs and substance abuse as this will add more light to their principles and doctrines.

“There needs to be training of Lay Preachers in the area of counseling.”

In his closing submission he added there also needs to be a legislation that governs the abuse of kava as it is also a contributing factor to social problems.

Meanwhile the consultation will continue today until 4:30pm at the Shiu Raj Building in Rakiraki before moving to the Ba Town Hall tomorrow.


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