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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 30 November 2021

New Zealand Health Minister denies playing with fake cocaine at school party

He was attending a Las Vegas-themed fundraiser.

Jonathan Coleman
Jonathan Coleman
Image: Wong Maye-E/AP/Press Association Images

NEW ZEALAND HEALTH Minister Jonathan Coleman has been forced to deny playing with fake cocaine at a school party.

Coleman was at a fundraiser at a Las Vegas-themed party at Northcote primary school in Auckland which had props of trays of icing sugar arranged to look like cocaine next to disposable razors.

According to the NZ Herald, some of the parents were playing and posing with the fake cocaine, but Coleman said he was unaware this activity was taking place.

When asked if he played with the props Coleman, who is an MP for Northcoote, said: “Of course I didn’t.

“I didn’t even see this stuff. I didn’t even know it was there until I heard it in the media.”

‘In poor taste’

He said it was wrong that attention was being focused on the fake cocaine, rather than the school’s fundraising efforts.

“The big story here is a fantastic group of parents got together and raised $30,000 (about €20,000) for the school and it was a great night.

“It’s a storm in a teacup … Call me naïve, but look, the school and no one there is condoning drug use.”

The school’s board chairman Andrew Fox told the NZ Herald the props were, in hindsight, in poor taste.

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Órla Ryan

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