Case Study

Buses and bus shelters across Napier and Hastings go alcohol-free! Napier City and Hastings District Councils

What issue did you act on?

Alcohol advertising on buses and bus shelters in the Napier and Hastings area.

How did you act?

There is a Joint Alcohol Strategy in place in the Napier and Hastings region which is a collaborative process involving the two council’s, ACC, DHB and other agencies. The Strategy reference group ran a prioritisation exercise to identify actions to meet the aims of the strategy and how to appropriately phase it all. Alcohol advertising on public transport was one of the opportunities that the group identified as part of this process. Auckland Transport implemented an alcohol advertising ban on public transport in 2018, so the reference group wanted to extend this to Hawke’s Bay.

Advertising on buses in the Hawke’s Bay region is controlled by the Regional Council so the reference group wrote a letter to them as the first step. In the letter they outlined why alcohol advertising is an issue, the impact it has on vulnerable communities, the fact that the proposed policy had multi-agency support and the success of Auckland Council’s policy. As an incentive for the Regional Council to act, Napier City and Hastings District Councils’ both also offered to end alcohol advertising on the bus shelters in their areas, which are managed by the Transportation Team in each of the Councils. This initial approach got the ball rolling. The team at Regional Council agreed with the proposal and saw it through their required Council processes for it to be approved.         

What worked well?

  • A multi-agency collaborative approach.
  • Not being too hard-nosed with our proposal or how the process should be managed.
  • Being flexible throughout the process including agreeing to some exemptions to the rule, for example allowing incidental advertising of alcohol for the Hawke’s Bay wine and food festival.
  • One of the positive spin offs was that the members of the reference group identified an opportunity to replace the alcohol advertising with healthy lifestyles messages re: alcohol free events/whānau time. This was picked up by the DHB with a new campaign “Hopu te Kōreroro – Join the Conversation” promoted over the summer of 2019/2020.

 What did not work well?

We haven’t identified anything that didn’t work well!

Top tips for others that we learnt from this experience

  • It is important to gather evidence and be properly informed on the issue/proposal.
  • Offer to assist Council or other agencies with the processes that they need to follow, for example speaking to the issue at committee meetings.
  • Involve your own relevant teams internally and be willing to contribute as a Council.
  • If budget allows consider supporting the action with positive alternatives to what you are taking away, for example replacing alcohol advertising with positive wellbeing messages.

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