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.
Clubs can provide an important place for building knowledge and skills, fitness and physical activity, cultural or artistic expression as well as social connection. Clubs often provide essential facilities and activities for children and young people so it is important to ensure these environments are safe and supportive of good health and well-being.
However, alcohol consumption can sometimes undermine these benefits and threaten the viability of the club. For example, problems can arise if one or more of the members are bringing their problematic drinking into the club environment, spectators are drinking prior to and/or during the game, or after-match functions or club events involve heavy drinking.
Here''s what you need to know before taking action.
Participation in sport is very popular in New Zealand, across all ages. Some people play sport, others volunteer as coaches, trainers, etc.
The importance of sport in the culture of New Zealand highlights the role of clubs in providing a healthy environment, especially for children and young people.
Sport is a primary vehicle for the promotion of alcohol in New Zealand. Many professional teams in New Zealand are sponsored by alcohol companies.
Players who receive alcohol sponsorship are more likely to drink heavily.
Many clubs in New Zealand are licensed to sell alcohol; the management of alcohol in these settings needs extra care given the presence of young people.
Sports clubs can take important action to reduce harm to their participants, but also help to change the wider drinking culture.
It is great that you want to take action in this important setting. You can make a real difference to New Zealand's drinking culture. Read more below.
Workplaces can play a major role in changing our drinking culture and protecting employees from harm.
In 2008/09, 25% of New Zealand drinkers said they had consumed alcohol in the workplace or at meetings.
Less than 10% of drinkers in a 2012/13 survey said that they had worked while under the influence of alcohol in the last 12 months. This was higher among some ethnic groups.
In 2008 it was estimated that 147,500 adults take one or more days off work or school due to their alcohol use (males more than females). A total of 84,400 adults reported experiencing harmful effects on their work, study or employment because of alcohol.
The estimated annual average cost of lost productivity per employee is estimated to be NZ$1097.71 (NZ$209.62 absenteeism, NZ$888.09 presenteeism) and NZ$134.62 per employer. At a population level this equates to approximately NZ$1.65 billion per year.
In New Zealand, employers have legal obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 to protect workers from health and safety risks and minimise hazards.
Many communities are taking action to address drinking in public places. Here's how you can take action.
Councils develop alcohol bans, Police enforce them
Councils have the powers to address concerns about disorderly behaviour and criminal offending that arises from alcohol being consumed in public places.
They can develop Alcohol Control bylaws (also known as alcohol/liquor bans or alcohol-free zones). These specify the time and day when the consumption and possession of alcohol in the public place is prohibited. For the legislation relevant to these bylaws please click here.
These bylaws may be permanent (until the bylaw is reviewed) or temporary (to cover an event or particular time period).
For example, an Alcohol Ban may cover a town centre, a park or public reserve, or a car park, and can be 24/7 or for certain times of day/night. A ban can also be put in place for a special event like a concert or other public event such as sport/game.
It is necessary for the Council to consult with its residents when creating such a bylaw.
Breaches of alcohol bans
The Police are the agency with the authority to enforce alcohol bans. They are given powers of arrest, search and seizure in relation to breaches of alcohol bans.
Breaches are dealt with by way of infringement notices – i.e. a fine of $250. This generally means that issues can be dealt with promptly. However, if there are other matters of concern to the Police other responses may be pursued. For more information on Police powers in relation to alcohol bans, please click here.
Consumption of alcohol by minors in a public place
The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 also addresses the consumption of alcohol in public places. The Act makes is an offence for those under 18 years (unaccompanied by their legal parent or guardian) to consume alcohol in a public place, please visit the Police website for more information. This offence is subject to a $200 fine.
Working together to create alcohol-free spaces
It is also possible to take community action to create spaces alcohol-free without using an Alcohol Control Bylaw. The owners of the spaces can be asked that no alcohol is brought into or consumed in the space.