Auckland Council pressures Parliament to act on community alcohol harm reduction

Auckland Council has unanimously passed a motion calling on MPs to support Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick’s Members’ bill to minimise alcohol harm - an unprecedented step that puts pressure on Parliament to act. 

“Auckland Council’s support of the Harm Minimisation Bill, against the backdrop of many MPs saying they’re concerned about alcohol-related crimes, must drive action. I’m urging MPs across the House to come together and do what’s right for their communities and support the Bill,” says Chlöe Swarbrick. 

“Barely a day goes by that we don’t hear of the harm alcohol is doing in our communities. Yet Parliament has let years go by without meaningfully acting.

“Alcohol harm isn’t inevitable. Removing the special appeal process so alcohol companies and supermarket corporates cannot block local communities from putting in place the rules they want, and ending alcohol sponsorship of sport will provide wellbeing benefits for all New Zealanders and improve health equity. 

“Auckland Council, along with councils all across the country, needs MPs to act. Because of the complete imbalance in the current law, Auckland Council has been prevented from finalising their Local Alcohol Policy since 2015. It has racked up a legal bill in excess of a million dollars simply to support and protect communities’ wishes on liquor policy. The Harm Minimisation Bill will rebalance the law and ensure communities have real control and the final say over liquor sales in their neighbourhoods. 

“Speaker’s rulings now allow Bills that have the support of 61 non-executive MPs to skip the ballot. After a whole lot of talk, I’m asking MPs across the Chamber to support this Bill to bypass the ballot and have its day in the House. I’m asking them to give power back to their communities and to put their money where their mouth is in preventing alcohol harm.”

“Shout out to Cr Josephine Bartley for putting forward this motion and Cr Efeso Collins for seconding it. Thank you to Auckland Councillors of all stripes who supported this motion. I hope my colleagues will take your lead and do the same,” says Chlöe Swarbrick. 

Further information

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill was added to the Members’ ballot in July 2021.

The Bill will:

  • remove the anomaly of special appeals on Local Alcohol Policies
  • end alcohol advertising in and sponsorship of sports, implementing recommendations from the 2014 Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship

ENDS

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