Media Release – 25 August 2023
Empowering Communities to control alcohol in their neighbourhoods
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Community Participation) Amendment Bill is one small step away from becoming law with the passing of its third reading in Parliament yesterday under urgency.
Alcohol Healthwatch Acting Executive Director Rebecca Williams says it was a huge relief to see the Bill progress.
“It has been a long time coming and another hard fought battle. We, alongside our community and sector stakeholders, commend the Government for ensuring the Bill’s safe passage through Parliament.”
Williams says that removing the appeal provisions of Local Alcohol Policies is central to the changes. This along with the other changes will help to level the playing field for decision-making on alcohol in local communities.
“Currently the law is not delivering on its aim to minimise alcohol-related harm, or its intent to give communities a greater say on when and where alcohol can be sold in their community. Instead, those with vested interests and deep pockets have been using the appeal provisions in the current legislation to stymie attempts by local councils to respond to community requests for better controls on the sale and promotion of alcohol in their neighbourhoods.”
Williams says that communities who are attempting to reduce the burden of alcohol-related harm are grossly disadvantaged by the current legal framework. The changes will go a long way towards finding a better balance.
While these law changes are welcomed, Williams says there is still some way to go. “Our sector is united in the importance of achieving further law changes, including embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi into alcohol legislation, realising alcohol advertising-free environments, and reducing the affordability of alcohol.”
Contact Rebecca Williams – mobile 021 862 250