“Like alcohol is easily accessible to buy and get, see coming from Mangere and Southside,
there is a liquor store in every corner especially in Otara, also they look at social media
like American gangs, American rap, they see and follow that hip hop culture, but the problem is that the youth are no knowing what their own culture is you know,
they are just following what the media portrays and they conform to it…stink buzz” (Fehoko, 2014)
We need to address the environmental factors that often cause a disproportionate impact of alcohol-related harm among Pacific communities. For example, alcohol is widely accessible where Pacific people live. Other factors include alcohol sponsorship in sport/club events. Therefore, it is important to also check out other sections on ActionPoint and take action accordingly.
Reducing alcohol-related harm by applying Pacific Health models
In additional to addressing the environmental factors, check out the following models/projects that utilise church settings to promote healthy lifestyles.
This includes Pacific Health models namely the Fonua model and the The Fonofale model. In the Auckland region, there are two major health promotion projects in Pacific churches. These models or projects often take a comprehensive approach and encourage partnership between church leaders, youth leaders, the whole congregation and health promoters. Therefore, it is important for you to talk to your local Public Health Unit at your District Health Board.
Check out PACIFIC HEALTH MODELS
In the Auckland region, there are two major health promotion projects in Pacific churches:
- Enua Ola is a community action project supporting church or community groups to establish health committees within their groups and strengthen communication networks. The aim of Enula Ola is to empower, educate and support Pacific people to lead physically active lifestyles and also to adopt healthier eating behaviours.
- The initiative is developed by the Waitemata District Health Board (WDHB) and there are currently 34 participating groups and Churches in the North Shore and West Auckland.
- Visit their facebook - https://www.facebook.com/enuaola2019/
Healthy Village Action Zones (HVAZ)
- The HVAZ is an initiative of the Auckland District Health Board with the aim to enable Pacific communities to make healthy lifestyle choices by means of collaborative action between key stakeholders (e.g. Primary Health Organisations, Pacific churches in the Auckland region) and support Pacific communities to develop their own solutions to their health priorities
- Healthy village action zones are set up within the district to support Pacific churches in setting up health committees and strengthen community networks. Parish Community Nurses are connected with primary health care organisations.
- Visit their page - http://www.adhb.govt.nz/planningandfunding/pacific%20health.htm
Applying for funding
Apart from seeking funding from your own denomination, you may consider applying for funding from charities commissions to support your projects (if your church is registered as a charity) - APPLYING FOR FUNDING
You may also talk to your local Public Health Unit for collaboration and funding opportunities.
Alcohol can be a sensitive issue in church as it links to its consequences such as intoxication, violence and sexual abuse.
Please take into account of both the biblical and religious context around alcohol
as these are the core beliefs and values of every churches.
You also need to understand and appreciate the importance of those beliefs and mission of a church.
- be culturally appropriate and holistic;
- be flexible in term of design inorder to cater for the diverse needs of Pacific ethnic groups;
- be based on the stories and narratives that are integral to the life of each Pacific community;
- have a working partnership between Pacific communities and service providers/government;
- take into account the wide range of harms created by alcohol misuse in the Pacific community;
- involve consultation with the whole Pacific community, including church and community leaders and youth.
"Alcohol is not a traditional part of the Pacific islands’ culture.
It was introduced to the Pacific by Western visitors such as whalers, traders and sailors, and rapidly adopted by Pacific men."
(Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand & Ministry of Health, 1997)
A significantly lower proportion of Pacific people drink alcohol when compared to non-Pacific people. However, those who drink do so more hazardously than non-Pacific drinkers.
In the 2018 Census, 77% of Pacific people said they were associated with a religion or a religious group. Pacific people have strong social and cultural ties with their family, churches and community. Active involvement in church protects young Pacific people from binge drinking.
Churches are a good setting to engage Pacific people in activities to enhance wellbeing.
Here's how you can take action to protect our stunning outdoor spaces.
1. Be a positive role model
Enjoy our natural environment without alcohol. This is especially important if you have a role as a parent or caregiver of children and young people.
If you do decide to take alcohol into the great outdoors, firstly check if there are alcohol bans or restrictions in place, and plan to drink responsibly.
Remember to bring your empty containers back to dispose of them appropriately.
2. Record and report local problems
If you notice any concerning behaviour or damage, report this to the appropriate authority as soon as you can. This might be the Department of Conservation (there may be a ranger on duty), or the local/regional councils. Make sure you advise them of how alcohol has contributed to the problem.
Any serious issues affecting the safey of yourself and/or others should be reported to the Police or other emergency services.
For more information, please check out the sub-section on Alcohol in public places
3. Advocate for change
If the problems are persistent it could be time for the appropriate authorities to consider putting some alcohol restrictions in place.
- Contact the relevant authority and discuss your concerns
- Refer to Alcohol Control Bylaws for more information
Alcohol-free great outdoors
Terriorial Authorities (local Councils) can implement alcohol bylaws (alcohol bans) in public places, including beaches.
For more information on alcohol bylaws/bans in public places, please check out the sub-section - Alcohol in public places.
Regional Parks are not currently alcohol-free. Regional Councils do not have the powers to make alcohol bylaws / bans. You could always approach them to create their own policy.
Boating and alcohol
You can be prosecuted for operating a boat in a manner that causes unnecessary danger, under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act.
If you’ve been drinking, the risks escalate the moment you end up in the water. Alcohol can:
- decrease your coordination and ability to perform a simple task, such as putting on a lifejacket
- increase your sense of disorientation
- make it harder for you to stay afloat
- lower the concentrations of blood going to your brain and muscles, contributing to muscle, heat and fluid loss and speeding up the onset of hypothermia
- reduce your ability to hold your breath
- suppress your airway protection reflexes so you are more likely to inhale water
- give you a false sense of your situation, causing you to attempt tasks beyond your abilities; and reduce your awareness of the onset of hypothermia.
Many New Zealanders consume alcohol in outdoor public places.
There may be bans on alcohol consumption in some outdoor spaces, in certain times of the day or year.
Large gatherings of people in outdoor spaces can present risks for alcohol-related harm. This is especially so during festive occasions such as New Year's Eve.
Alcohol use poses high risks at events that involve water-based activities. Impairment begins well below intoxication levels - this is very important to keep in mind.
Alcohol plays a role in New Zealand's horrific drowning statistics.
Alcohol and the great outdoors
New Zealand has amazing outdoor areas (regional parks, beaches, rivers, and lakes, etc.).
Drinking alcohol in these areas present a number of inherent risks to users. Just like local Councils can implement alcohol bans in public places such as beaches, so too can Regional Councils in the parks and open spaces that they manage.
Alcohol use in the great outdoors
When New Zealand drinkers were asked about the locations that they drank alcohol (in 2007/08), around 15% of past-year drinkers reported drinking in outdoor public places.
Alcohol use at beaches
As stated above, many beaches may have alcohol bans which prohibit drinking in certain times of the day or year.
Binge drinking may occur in the great outdoors, especially when there are gatherings of many people.
Excessive use of alcohol in public places may cause significant alcohol-related problems and public disorder especially during festive occasions such as New Year's Eve. Alcohol-related problems have also occurred on National Crate Day in previous years:
- In 2016, there were 29 arrests, 6 people were treated for lacerations on their feet caused by broken bottles, and one person was hospitalised for alcohol poisoning.
- In 2015, a police riot squad was called to Manly Beach (also in Hibiscus Coast, Auckland), where over 300 people were drinking, to restore order.
In 2017, the Police decided to impose a temporary alcohol ban on the parks and beaches of the Hibiscus Coast over the first weekend of December, in order to prevent the problems of previous years.
Alcohol use and water sports
Alcohol use may pose certain risks when performing outdoor activities. Impairment begins well below intoxication levels - this is very important to keep in mind.
The following information was cited in the report Alcohol, Injuries and Violence:
Alcohol use is a risk factor in drowning, with the risk increasing as blood alcohol content increases. Drinking is associated with a 10-fold increase in reckless behaviour such as the violation of safety rules and swimming in unauthorised areas . Blood alcohol levels of 100mg/dl (BAC 0.10) or greater increases the risk of drowning by 16 times.
Between 2008 and 2012, 13% of all drowning deaths were alcohol-related. This equates to 71 lives. Alcohol is considered to be a factor in poor supervision of children who have drowned.
More than half of these occurred during swimming, fishing and accidentally falling into water. Higher rates are particularly found among Māori, Pacifica, males and young adults.
Drinking on boats causes around three deaths each year in New Zealand.
Alcohol is also implicated in land-based fishing drownings, paddle-sports fatalities and underwater activities.
Skippers of recreational boats are not bound by a legal blood alcohol limit.
The economic cost of a fatal drowning is estimated at $3.4 million.
There is limited data on alcohol-related non-fatal drownings, near drownings and other aquatic injuries.
Browne ML, Lewis-Michl EL, Stark AD. Watercraft-related drownings among New York state residents, 1988–1994. Cited in Alcohol, Boating and Water recreation facts. European Child Safety Alliance. 2011.
Bell NS, Amoroso PJ, Yore MM, et al. Alcohol and other risk factors for drowning among male active duty U.S. army soldiers. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine 2001;72(12):1086-1095.
DrownBase™-Water Safety New Zealand. DrownBase™. 2012.
Maritime New Zealand. Boating Safety Strategy: 2007 Review of the New Zealand Pleasure Boating Safety Strategy. Wellington: Maritime New Zealand, 2008.
Chalmers D, Morrison L. Epidemiology of non-submersion injuries in aquatic sporting and recreational activities. Sports Medicine 2003;33(10):745-70.
Davis M, Warner M, Ward B. Snorkelling and scuba diving deaths in New Zealand, 1980-2000. South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society 2002;32(2):70-80.
DrownBase™-Water Safety New Zealand. DrownBase™. 2012.
Does your Council have a signage bylaw or do you need to check the district plan?
Check to see if your Council has a signage bylaw. If your Council does not have a signage bylaw check the district plan to see if there are any requirements around signage or advertising. To find the website of your Local Council, please click here.
Make a complaint if you feel there is a breach of a bylaw or district plan
If your Council does have a bylaw, and you think it is being breached you can make a complaint. You can do the same if the signs at licensed premises are inconsistent with the requirements of the district plan.
Record the details of the advertisement - you can keep track of all signage-related incidents in a log. We have created one for you below.
Take a photo of the possible non-compliant signage
After collecting relevant evidence, raise your concerns with your local Council, as they are responsible for enforcing bylaws and ensuring the district plan is followed.
If your council does not have a signage bylaw
If your council does not have a signage bylaw, check if there are appropriate controls on signage in the district plan or in other bylaws. If there are no appropriate controls, contact your local council to ask if there are plans to develop controls on signage. If not, you could encourage your council to develop a signage bylaw or to make changes to their district plan. Please check out the section on alcohol in public places.
You can highlight the importance of signage controls in your community:
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, please click here;
- Raise community awareness of the harms from alcohol advertising - please check out the sections on seeking others in the community who are interested and get your message across ;
- Write a letter to your representatives at council or on the local/community board to raise your concerns. You may find the template below helpful:
Seeking to have conditions imposed on a licensed premise
When a licence comes up for renewal, you might consider making an objection or requesting conditions be included in the licence. These conditions could include limiting or removing signage and advertising visible from the outside of the premises.
Record the details of the signage and advertising in a log like the one below.
Make it clear in your objection letter what conditions you would like imposed on the licence, here are some examples:
- All signs and advertisements must be fully compliant with local bylaws and district plans
- Limit advertising and signage to the trading name of the premises only
- Maximum of 2 signs visible from outside the premises
- No advertising of alcohol brands or prices visible from outside the premises
- Windows must be clean and clear, with signs limited to 25% of the window area
- No portable signs (sandwich boards, banners/flags, bollard sleeves)
In your objection letter, it may be useful to quote local bylaw(s) or the district plan. Check if there in your area applying to external signage or advertising.
It may be difficult to have conditions imposed on the licence – but you may be able to encourage the applicant to sign an undertaking. An undertaking is a formal written statement (can even be in an email) that the applicant promises to adhere to certain requirements.
Please visit the section on Alcohol Licensing to learn more about objecting to a liquor licence application.
Advertising at Alcohol Outlets
Alcohol signage outside licensed premises is a form of advertising. Compared to mainstream forms of alcohol advertising, there is less research in relation to alcohol advertising outside alcohol retail outlets.
Signs at licensed premises are considered alcohol advertisements under the Code for Advertising and Promotion of Alcohol and the Alcohol Advertising and Promotion Code if they are promoting alcohol products, brands or outlets. The brand of an alcohol outlet is not automatically considered an alcohol advertisement – the intent of the advertisement must be to promote the consumption of alcohol. See the definitions listed in the Code itself for more information.
Most signage at alcohol outlets will not breach the Code by way of their content – however the location of the outlet may raise concerns about the placement of the advertising – if it is next to a school or other site frequented by children then the advertisement may not meet standards of social responsibility.
Council Bylaws and District Plans
Some areas will have controls on signs at licensed premises through a district or unitary plan, while some areas, such as Auckland will have a signage bylaw. A signage bylaw may have different requirements for different types of premises, and different zones. However, they are likely to apply to signs at licensed premises.
Rules are set at each council, and are unlikely to be designed specifically for signage at alcohol outlets. For example, Auckland Council’s Signage Bylaw has rules for sandwich board and flag signs (portable signs), window signs, wall mounted signs, and veranda signs:
- only one portable sign per premises, with placement and size limitations
- no more than 50% height or width of windows to be covered by signs
- wall mounted signs to be no greater than three square metres in area
- No above veranda signs permitted
- Veranda fascia signs must be less than 0.6 metres in height
The rules listed above are just examples and the actual requirements will be different in different zoning areas, and premises may also have consents exempting them from the requirements.
Signage rules apply to all types of premises that have signs, including licensed premises, though the details can be complex and there may be exemptions and exceptions.
In the Wellington region signs are mainly regulated through district plans. Wellington City in their district plan (rule 184.108.40.206 - page 38) for business areas says that signs must only be displayed on plain wall surfaces an must not cover windows or architectural features. In Porirua City, signs are regulated differently in City Centre, Suburban, Industrial, and Rural Zones under the District Plan. In the Suburban zone, signs must relate to the activities on site, and not exceed one square metre in total area (section D3.2.1 Suburban Zone Standards (xv) signs).
Kapiti Coast District Plan has provisions around signs indicating signs on walls and windows shall not cover more than 20% of the wall or window area, and that sign protruding out from a wall must be a minimum of 2.5 metres above the footpath level, not protrude more the 500 mm from the wall, and not exceed one square metre in area. See 12.3.3 (page 27) of the District Plan.
Bylaws setting out requirements for signs can be found in Whangarei, Waimakariri, Thames Coromandel, Ashburton, and other areas. Check with your local council for relevant bylaws or district plan requirements regarding signs. Not all local councils will have requirements that are useful for reducing advertising at alcohol outlets.
Knowing what the rules are regarding signage and advertising in your local area will enable you to take effective and appropriate actions.
Placing conditions relating to external signage and advertising of alcohol on a licensed premises
Leading up to and during the renewal of the licensed premise, you may consider requesting that the District Licensing Committee place conditions such as removing external signage and advertising of alcohol.
Sometimes it can be difficult to have conditions imposed on the licence – but this doesn’t mean that you can’t discuss these with the applicant and encourage them to sign an undertaking. An undertaking is a formal written statement (can even be in an email) that the applicant promises to adhere to certain requirements.
If you are not comfortable engaging with the licensee, you could talk with the council inspectors or the medical officer of health regarding your concerns about signage and alcohol advertising.
If you were to make an objection to a licence renewal or even a new licence you would need to argue that the signage and advertising is not consistent with the criteria for issue or renewal of licences (see s105 and s131). Key criteria include the suitability of the applicant (they may be breaching local bylaws or the district plan with their signs and advertising), the design and layout of the premises, the amenity (the pleasantness or agreeableness, including visual) and good order of the locality, and the manner in which alcohol has been sold, displayed, advertised, or promoted. Your opposition to a licence application or renewal will be significantly stronger if the Council, Medical Officer of Health, or Police are also opposing, so it is a good idea to talk with these agencies beforehand.
Please visit the next section if you are considering to TAKE ACTION
Please visit the section on Alcohol Licensing to learn more about objecting to a liquor licence application.
Alcohol signage outside liquor stores
Alcohol signage outside licensed premises is a form of location-based outdoor promotion. Compared to mainstream forms of alcohol advertising, there is less research in relation to alcohol advertising outside alcohol retail outlets.
One study, which reviewed existing studies on this topic, found that greater exposure to advertising in local communities (and higher density of alcohol outlets) may be related to higher alcohol use, especially among adolescents.
A strong study from Chicago indicated that exposure to outdoor alcohol advertising near schools was related to young people’s future drinking intentions. A small study in New York among African-American women found that exposure to outdoor advertising in residential neighbourhoods was related to problem drinking. In tertiary education campuses where takeaway alcohol outlets were free from advertising (inside and outside), binge drinking rates were lower among students.
In the city of Baltimore in the United States, takeaway alcohol outlets with alcohol advertisements visible outside had 15% more violent crimes, and 28% more homicides, in the surrounding area within 1000 feet than outlets without visible alcohol advertisements.