10 years reflections seminar

Wharewaka Function Centre, 16th August 2019

It has been a decade since the Law Commission’s first report , so who better to headline our 10th annual seminar than Sir Geoffrey Palmer . The Dominion post whole front page was devoted to ” Alcohol harm report ignored” and Sir Geoffrey reflected on the failure of Parliament to adopt major recommendations. He also talked about improved democratic mechanisms for adopting evidence-based policy.

Professor of Social and Preventative Medicine Jennie Connor took us through her work on the impact of alcohol on breast cancer and how the liquor industry brought in an “expert” to minimize the findings and criticize her study methods. This is because Alcohol companies definitely do not want people knowing that alcohol causes cancer.

Professor Sally Caswell presented on the ten years since the global strategy to reduce alcohol harm, indicating the scale and might of the industry as a major impediment to meaningful change.

Dr Nikki Jackson from Alcohol Healthwatch gave a passionate and eloquent talk about how our communities have been left behind after the Law commission report: Local Alcohol Plans have not protected the community from increased alcohol licencing especially in poorer areas.

Professor Doug Sellman was also scheduled to speak but unfortunately was unwell.

This seminar was a resounding success given the high caliber of speakers and the media interest that it generated in bringing alcohol reform into the public domain.