June 4th, 2021 by Stephen Forbes. From Radio New Zealand.

Tougher restrictions on the advertising and marketing of alcohol are needed in Auckland to reduce the harm caused by the liquor industry, public health officials say.

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service is seeking to release a report in the New Zealand Medical Journal looking at liquor outlets in South Auckland and their failure to comply with council regulations.

ARPHS medical officer of health Dr Nick Eichler who co-authored the report, said: “The evidence tells us that alcohol signage can make people start drinking at an earlier age and more heavily. So we would like to see the council restrict the advertising of alcohol on the land they own, like sandwich boards on footpaths and signs at sports matches.”

In fact, The Ministry of Health-funded organisation found 97 percent of them were in breach of the bylaw, and the executive director Dr Nicki Jackson said amending the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 to include restrictions on signs and advertising nationwide would be a logical solution.

Oppositely, NZ Alcohol Beverages Council executive director Bridget MacDonald said that New Zealand’s alcohol industry was already highly regulated and more red tape was not the solution, and that: “Companies must ensure their sponsorship and advertising activities comply with the strict requirements of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and the Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority,”

However, an Auckland Council spokesperson said that as part of a review of its signage bylaw in October 2020, its regulatory committee voted to call for tighter national restrictions by the government on alcohol marketing. It also agreed to greater enforcement of the signage bylaw against alcohol outlets and to increase the inspection of bottle stores in the Ōtara-Papatoetoe area.

Find the full article here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/ldr/444005/public-health-service-calls-for-crack-down-on-liquor-industry.

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