The current alcohol policy and licensing system is overly complicated and effectively locks out the voices and concerns of local communities about alcohol harm in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Salvation Army’s new policy advocacy paper, ‘Uncapping the Voices of Communities: Looking closer at local alcohol policy and district licensing committees in Aotearoa New Zealand’, found that members of the public and local community organisations face an uphill battle in ensuring their voices, stories and social realities related to alcohol harm are properly heard by governing authorities.
“The current system is just not working for local communities, who often find themselves in a David vs Goliath-type battle with big alcohol industry players including the supermarket duopoly,” says report co-author Ana Ika.
“The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012 needs urgent change because many Local Alcohol Plans (LAPs) are being delayed by the alcohol industry, while the District Licencing Committee (DLC) phase is bureaucratic, slow, expensive, and unfriendly for communities who want to object to liquor licences.”
The paper also highlights the density of alcohol or liquor stores in four communities – Whangārei, Mangere, Porirua, and Sydenham.
“It’s important to examine how the problems associated with the Act, LAPs and DLCs are impacting our local communities. At the same time, the paper presents regulatory and community solutions that we believe can truly uncap and unlock community voices and reduce the damage of alcohol in our neighbourhoods”
The full paper is available on our website: https://www.salvationarmy.org.nz/article/uncapping-voices-communities
The Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer, 021 945 337, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (The Media Officer responds to enquiries from media outlets and journalists. If you would like to donate, are in need of help, or have some other non-media-related enquiry, please call 0800 53 00 00.)