Reducing the harm from alcohol can improve the life of every person in Aotearoa New Zealand – and especially, the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.
We believe that our 2012 alcohol laws have failed to reduce the high level of alcohol harm in our country. Māori, Pasifika and low income communities continue to experience the greatest harms from alcohol. This is unfair.
Our physical environment plays a major role in alcohol harm. The more alcohol outlets in a community, the more harm. The more alcohol advertising in our daily lives, the more harm (especially to children, young people and New Zealanders with alcohol use disorders).
By reducing the availability and advertising of alcohol, we can reduce alcohol harm. The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Bill seeks to address both the availability and advertising of alcohol. It is an important step towards a healthier, fairer society.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Bill?
A Bill is a proposed new law or a proposal to change an existing law.
The Bill we are encouraging you to support is called the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill.
The Bill seeks to make changes to our current alcohol laws. New Zealand’s alcohol laws are called the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
What is the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Bill?
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill seeks to make our alcohol laws stronger.
It seeks to do two important things:
• abolish the special appeals process from Council local alcohol policies (giving communities more say over alcohol availability)
• end alcohol sponsorship of broadcast sport.
What are local alcohol policies?
In 2012, our new alcohol laws gave the power to councils to develop their own policies to set the limits on alcohol availability.
These policies are called local alcohol policies. They are developed in consultation with the communities they serve.
Local alcohol policies can specify where new alcohol outlets (e.g. pubs, bottle stores, etc.) can be located, whether they can be close to other existing alcohol outlets or near sensitive sites (e.g. schools, Marae, churches, marae, addiction treatment centres) as well as the opening and closing hours for all places selling alcohol.
Why does the special appeals process need to go?
Council local alcohol policies were intended to give communities greater input into local alcohol licensing decisions. But this hasn’t happened.
Well-financed supermarkets and bottle stores have fought and fought against the majority of local alcohol policies in Aotearoa. They have used the special appeals process to appeal the policies through the courts.
This has meant that communities haven’t been heard and profit wins out over the community. It is only alcohol policies that have this special appeals process – other council social policies don’t have it.
For example, Auckland Council’s local alcohol policy has been held up in appeals for more than 7 years, at a cost of over 1 million rate-payer dollars.
Removing the appeals process will help Councils put in place policies that protect their communities from alcohol harm.
What if communities want to appeal a local alcohol policy?
Like all other council policies that are adopted, the right to a Judicial Review of the policy will still exist.
Communities will still be able to have their say on any draft policy via the public consultation process. Councils must listen closely to what their communities are saying.
Local alcohol policies must be reviewed every 6 years, but can be reviewed earlier. It is important that Councils are well-connected to their communities so that they can continually assess if the alcohol policy is meeting their needs.
What will be the impact of the Bill on grassroots sport?
This Bill only seeks to end alcohol sponsorship of broadcast sport that takes place in Aotearoa. If grassroots or community-level sport is not broadcasted, then the Bill has no impact on these clubs. Also, as the Bill only applies to alcohol product sponsorship (e.g. beer brands) there will be no impact on clubs that are sponsored by local bars, restaurants and other similar places that sell alcohol.
Will the Bill affect sports broadcasted from overseas?
No. This bill only applies to sport played and broadcasted in Aotearoa. It does not apply to sport played outside of Aotearoa. Also, the Bill includes the ability to provide exemptions for alcohol-sponsored teams and players playing in multinational events that take place in Aotearoa.
Who will sponsor broadcast sports now?
This is a great opportunity for a new sponsors to step in and fill the gap. When Aotearoa ended tobacco sponsorship in the 1990s, other sponsorship filled the space. The same is likely to occur when alcohol sponsorship ends.
Is this a fix for the Sale And Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 (SASAA)?
No. We still welcome a full and comprehensive review of our liquor laws (SASAA) in addition to the passing of this bill. The Bill only covers alcohol sponsorship of broadcast sports and the special appeals process to local alcohol policies. We need further steps taken – such as embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi in our alcohol laws, addressing the low price of alcohol in Aotearoa, and taking comprehensive restrictions to alcohol marketing, including on social media. We also want to see licences to sell alcohol become harder to get and easier to lose.
Want more information?
We have produced three evidence-based factsheets:
Have a question we’ve missed? Ask it below and we’ll anonymously add it to our FAQ page