NZ leaders 'Call for Action on Alcohol' Thursday, 5 June 2014

Thirty-seven New Zealand leaders from health, education and the churches have put their names to a Call for Action on Alcohol statement to the incoming government of 2014. The group includes heads and representatives from leading medical and nursing colleges and organisations, universities, the Heart Foundation and the Cancer Society.

The statement calls on the next government to enact legislation in four priority actions related to the marketing and pricing of alcohol:

- Phase out alcohol advertising

- Phase out alcohol sponsorship

- Institute a minimum unit price for alcohol

- Increase the tax on alcohol.

"This Call for Action has resulted from concern about the continuing damage alcohol misuse is causing too many New Zealanders" said Dr Geoff Robinson, medical spokesperson for Alcohol Action NZ, the organisation which has led this initiative.

"Current evidence supports the effectiveness of these four actions to reduce the levels of violence, abuse, illness and addiction that result from the way New Zealanders are drinking" stated Prof Jennie Connor, another medical spokesperson of Alcohol Action NZ.

"It is both impressive and exciting to see this group of eminent New Zealanders boldly supporting these interventions, which, when taken up by the next government, will bring about a dramatic improvement to the health and safety of all New Zealanders."

"Previous Health Sponsorship Council research has shown that over two thirds of New Zealanders with an opinion supported the banning of alcohol advertising and raising the price of cheap alcohol" added Prof Doug Sellman.

Other national and community leaders will now be invited to sign the statement.

Read the Call for Action on Alcohol here.