You can help delay drinking by building strong family connections and improving parent-child communication. Consider building your skills by doing some parenting courses or reading some books about parenting. You could even organise parenting courses in your community to support others to learn useful skills and strategies. Parent/whānau Packs can be a great way of getting accurate and useful information to parents. These can include information about alcohol and other drugs, helpful strategies and also links to local agencies and services who can offer help and support. Check with your local District Health Board and/or schools to see if one has already been developed. If there is one that is up-to-date and has been developed by a trusted source then you can utilise this. Or work with your local school/s and community to develop or adapt a Parent/whānau Pack to suit your local needs. These can be distributed via schools or local groups.
Distributing information such as Parent/Whanau Packs to parents of pre-adolescents (10-13 year olds) is ideal.
Be a positive role model (in your family or community)
- enjoying yourself without alcohol
- modelling how to refuse a drink/avoid pressure to drink
- if/when drinking yourself just have one or stay within the low risk drinking guidelines
- if you are driving or responsible for looking after children, don’t drink
- if you are concerned about your drinking seek help from your GP or other health professional -this will model help-seeking behaviour
- If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking in your family/whānau be supportive, and enable them to seek help
Set family expectations
Communicate with your children about your concern in relation to adolescent drinking. Let them know that you care about them and want to know where they go and who they are with, particularly at night.
Set community-wide expectations
Talk to other parents and adults in the neighbourhood and/or school about drinking. Let young people know that delaying drinking is the best strategy to reduce harm. If you have children, seek to develop a network of parents of your children’s peers and friends. You can discuss your expectations about alcohol and share strategies.
Let young people know that you care about them. Young people feel a sense of belonging and connected when others want to know who they are with and where they are going. It is very important that young people know that others are looking out for them.
When a young person gains a postive sense of belonging, they are less likely to take part in many risky behaviours.
Get to know the young people in your community and say ‘hi’ when you see them. If you are a parent, ask about the friends of your child and where they are going after school, etc.
It is important that young people find activities that stimulate them and support their development.
Support them to stay engaged in school.
Be involved in activities that create a positive school environment – especially those which connect to the wider community.
Involving young people in organising alcohol-free events in your community can be very useful.
Many young people are exposed to alcohol and promotions as they go about their everyday lives.
They may be exposed to alcohol and its branding in their homes, in sports clubs, on TV / radio / internet, billboard, etc , and in their local supermarket. They may also be exposed to alcohol promotions as they walk past bottle stores on their way to school.
Alcohol advertising and young people: the law
Alcohol advertising and sponsorship play a key role in many young people wanting to drink alcohol.
New Zealand does not have laws that ban alcohol advertising or sponsorship.
Our laws do prohibit alcohol advertising that has special appeal to minors (under 18 years).
It is illegal in New Zealand for anyone to promote or advertise alcohol irresponsibly, including in a manner aimed at, or that has, or is likely to have, special appeal to minors. You need to be able to prove that this was the intent of the advertisement.
Visit the advertising and sponsorship section for more information.
Display of alcohol in supermarkets: the law
Supermarkets and grocery stores are required to limit the exposure of alcohol. All alcohol for sale must be contained in a single area/s of the premises. Click here for more information.
Alcohol advertising and sponsorship: Code of Practice
There are limited alcohol advertising controls in New Zealand.
Apart from the laws (above), most alcohol advertising is regulated by the alcohol industry and their media/advertising agencies.
We rely on the alcohol industry to adhere to a voluntary Code of Practice. This code has the following guidelines which specifically relate to young people:
- No alcohol advertising on television is permitted between 6:00am and 8:30pm. There are no such controls for any other media such as radio, internet, cinema or bill-boards. Alcohol sponsorship advertisements can be shown any time.
- Alcohol advertising shall not use or refer to identifiable heroes or heroines of the young.
- Alcohol advertising and promotions shall not use designs, motifs, or cartoon characters that have strong or evident appeal to minors or that create confusion with confectionary or soft drinks.
- Anyone visually prominent in alcohol advertising and promotions depicting alcohol being consumed shall be, and shall appear to be, at least 25 years of age with their behaviour and appearance clearly appropriate for people of that age or older. Minors may appear in alcohol advertising and promotions only in situations where they would naturally be found, for example in a family barbecue, provided that there is no direct or implied suggestion that they will serve or consume alcohol.
- Alcohol branded merchandise, point of sale materials and other promotions for alcohol must not be available in unrestricted areas at events or activities where more than 25 per cent of the expected audience is minors.
- Websites that provide online retail sale of alcohol products shall require purchasers to certify that they are 18 years of age or over.
- Websites that primarily promote an alcohol brand and contain games, competitions or other interactive activities shall have an Age Verification Page at entry. Verification shall be by way of input of the visitor’s date of birth.
New Zealand law states that only persons 18 years and over can purchase alcohol.
New Zealand does not have a legal age for drinking, unlike the United States.
There are penalities if a young person under the age of 18 buys alcohol - they could be fined up to $2000.
There are also laws around others (parents, friends, etc) supplying alcohol to those under 18 years. Click on the section alcohol supplied by parents or alcohol supplied by others, for more information.
New Zealand guidelines recommend that young people delay alcohol consumption for as long as possible, particularly those under the age of 15 years. It is further recommended that if drinking has initiated, it should occur under guidance, and at low levels and frequency.
Be on time. Introduce yourself to Council staff when you arrive.
There will be four areas for participants to sit. The regulatory agencies will sit on one side and the objectors opposite. The applicant and their advisors sit opposite the committee chair and members. The committee will enter the room last – it is customary for all parties to stand while the committee takes their seats.
Follow the direction of the DLC/ARLA chair and respect the authority of the Committee or Authority. When speaking, speak clearly and confidently. If there is a microphone, ensure it is switched on when you speak (these sessions are usually recorded for transcription).
After the hearing – the decision
You will be advised of the decision and if you are not happy with this you have the right to appeal it. Information about how to do this and when should be included in the correspondence with the decision.
For more information on the Hearing Process, check out the Health Promotion Agency's document on licensing objections (page 24-28).
Attend the hearing
If you want your objection to count you will need to attend the hearing. If you need to, arrange time off work and/or care for your children.
If you can’t attend the hearing please tell the hearings advisor, and nominate someone (another objector perhaps) to represent your objection.
Consider asking witnesses to present
Try to meet with other objectors or at least discuss the upcoming hearing with them. Identify any gaps, inconsistencies and how these might be addressed.
Arrange any witnesses and/or support people you might need. Think about noise specialists, etc.
If you are appearing on behalf of a group make sure everyone knows about the hearing, and allocate them a role if appropriate.
Prepare a short summary of your key points and practice it. Summarise any further evidence that you have gathered since submitting your objection.
Prepare to be cross-examined
You might be cross-examined so put yourself in the shoes of the applicant and think about any possible questions that they may wish to ask or challenge you on. Prepare some possible responses to these.
You may also have the opportunity to cross examine the applicant. If the regulatory agencies (council inspectors, health, police) are opposing and presenting evidence, you may have the opportunity to cross examine them too. Think about what questions you would like to ask them and write them down.
You might consider getting legal support. While there is usually a cost for this you might be able to get assistance.
You may consider contacting Community Law, or finding out if there are other community groups in your area with access to legal resources.
If you are approached by or informing the media regarding the objection/hearing extra care is needed as this is a legal process. For more information and advice, click here.