HCA welcomes first moves on alcohol, says Te Tiriti, marketing next steps

14 Jun, 2023 | Media Release

Health Coalition Aotearoa (HCA) welcomes the Government acting on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) as well as the Justice Select Committee’s report on the Community Participation Bill addressing the oversupply of alcohol in under-resourced communities. However, they say these moves must be followed with deeper change.

HCA strongly supports the newly announced FASD Advisory Rōpū who will oversee the development of a national FASD action plan.

HCA Rōpū Apārangi Waipiro Co-Chair Steve Randerson says “it’s an inclusive and independent group chaired by respected Māori leaders and includes people living with FASD, bringing a much-needed focus on unmet disability support needs and the impacts of FASD among Māori”.

“This is a long-overdue initiative which we hope leads the way to more substantial reform of alcohol policy,” says Mr Randerson.

He says the Justice Select Committee report on the Community Participation Bill is less bold in upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi, recommending future work to improve Māori involvement in local decisions on alcohol rather than paths to sharing leadership.

“HCA expects a more principled approach that embeds Te Tiriti o Waitangi in alcohol law, to ensure the regulatory system provides appropriate authority and protection for hapū and iwi Māori in all aspects that impact the wellbeing of Māori communities.”

Alongside embedding Te Tiriti o Waitangi, current momentum must be backed by action on the wider drivers of harm as recommended by the WHO and Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry, says Mr Randerson.

“We’ve got to restrict physical and digital marketing in law, especially online marketing which directly targets individuals and can’t be monitored in traditional ways. Likewise, better control is needed over the increasing affordability of alcohol products which increases consumption.”

– ENDS –  

You can contact Steve Randerson on steve.randerson.hca@gmail.com.

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