The New Zealand Government has been advised to end alcohol sponsorship of sports clubs and ban any advertising of beer, wine and spirits during televised matches by a ministerial forum. The forum concluded after a two-year inquiry that the total cost of alcohol-related harm in New Zealand was “enough to justify further restrictions on alcohol advertising and sponsorship”.
Justice Minister Amy Adams and Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne issued a media release only last week, nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship. Rather than welcome the recommendations of the Ministerial Forum or even thank them for their hard work, Alcohol Action NZ accuses the ministers of political-delay-speak, suggesting the report “raises a number of questions…”, that the issues are “complex”, and that it is now “important to consult”.
Professor Doug Sellman, medical spokesperson for Alcohol Action NZ said, “alarm bells should ring very loudly when an eagerly anticipated government sponsored report is made public either after Parliament rises for a recess, or just before a major national holiday such as Christmas. The timing of Adams and Dunn’s response ticks both boxes”.
Professor Jennie Connor, another Alcohol Action NZ medical spokesperson, also expressed her concern at the media statement. She said “The statement gave a strong signal of feet-dragging delay from the government. Despite the on-going exposure of children in communities saturated with alcohol outlets and advertising, the Ministers are talking of starting some new investigations. They think “a thorough quantification of the implications” is necessary and they will “consult with organisations and community groups””.
“We were given the clear impression that this Ministerial Forum, which had wide representation, had consulted with stakeholders and communities before making their recommendations” she said.
Source: Alcohol Action NZ 12/18/14