This initiative began with a small working group in the field of addiction treatment but soon involved public health experts and a range of other colleagues in various services and organisations who are dealing with the negative impacts of alcohol on a daily basis, and has quickly grown into a broad network of people throughout the country.
Whether we choose to use alcohol or not, we are concerned about the way alcohol dominates many social situations and the scale of unhealthy and dangerous drinking in contemporary New Zealand – a crisis that enriches the liquor industry while causing immense harm to individuals and society as a whole.
What our organisation does
The primary object of the incorporated society is to advocate for evidence-based policy to reduce harm from alcohol.
- Compiling research findings about alcohol and producing educational materials
- Disseminating evidence-based information about alcohol through presentations, meetings, conferences and events
- Commenting about alcohol through media
- Providing alcohol information to local and national leaders
- Supporting community groups, professional bodies and other networks engaged in similar evidence-based education work on alcohol
- Other activities compatible with those above and other activities determined by the Board, not inconsistent with the primary object of the Society
- Educating New Zealanders on alcohol harm and policy that reduces that harm.
We are a collaborative group of people with a wide range of skills from all around New Zealand who came together after Professor Doug Sellman toured the country and inspired local Alcohol Action groups to be set up in many towns. We meet regularly using teleconferences.
We have 4 medical spokespeople for media statements including Professor Doug Sellman, Professor Jennie Connor, and Dr Geoff Robinson and Dr Tony Farrell. We put out media releases in response to emerging political opportunities, and new knowledge about alcohol in populations.
Our brand is the 5+ solution. This is a compilation of strategies for which there is substantial evidence that they reduce alcohol harm, without banning or prohibiting alcohol. They align with the consensus of international research experts, and the World Health Organisation. The more components of the 5+ solution that are implemented the more effective they will be, as they work together to change the drinking environment. We also support other measures to reduce alcohol harm where there is evidence of effectiveness or reduction in inequality between groups.
- Increase the price of alcohol (either through excise tax orminimum pricing)
- Increase the purchase age
- Reduce or stop advertising of alcohol
- Reduce the availability of alcohol
- Increase drink driving countermeasures
PLUS Increase treatment opportunities for problem drinkers
This solution lies in between unrestricted commercialisation and prohibition, and survey data have shown at least 66% of New Zealanders 15 years of age and older support, or would accept, these policies.
We need your support to raise awareness and demand for policy change, so we can enjoy alcohol with less harm.
Professor Doug Sellman, Christchurch
Dr Geoffrey Robinson, Wellington
Professor Jennie Connor, Dunedin
Dr Sam McBride, Wellington
Dr Tony Farrell, Tauranga