The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill

4 July 2022

Chloe Swarbricks Member's Bill "The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Harm Minimisation) Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament on the 30th June 2022.  The bill covers two parts. Part 1 aims to abolish appeals on local alcohol policies while Part 2 looks to implement the recommendations of the 2014 Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship which would ban alcohol sponsorship and advertising of all streamed and live sports and ban alcohol sponsorship at all sporting venues.

Part 1 Amendments relating to local alcohol policies

Part 1 of the Bill abolishes appeals on local alcohol policies in order to provide proper local control over alcohol regulation.  The argument is that Territorial Authorities need to be able to produce policies to enhance community wellbeing, however, this part of the Act has failed because large companies have used their appeal rights in the Act to largely block the development of local alcohol policies.

It is clear that the intention behind blocking appeals on Local Alcohol Policies is to stop large companies, that have big budgets from launching costly appeals processes.  Clubs New Zealand’s concern is that blocking appeals denies small organisations and businesses such as clubs and pubs the opportunity appeal. 

The paper Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm provided that “Once a policy has been consulted on and agreed by the local authority, the statue should permit those who submitted on the policy to appeal it to the Alcohol Regulatory Authority.  This will provide a check and balance and assist in securing a broadly consistent approach across the country.”

We do not believe that abolishing the right of appeal is the way to stop “large companies”, and will be suggesting a more targeted approach is necessary which focuses on Section 81 of the Act which provides that the only ground on which an element of the provisional policy can be appealed against is that it is unreasonable in the light of the object of this Act. 

Part 2 Amendments relating to alcohol advertising and sponsorship

Part 2 of the Bill aims to implement a number of the recommendations of the 214 Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship.  The Forum’s recommendations focused on reducing young people’s exposure to messages that encourage them to drink alcohol and removing the link between sport and alcohol.  The Bill would implement these recommendations by banning alcohol sponsorship and advertising of all streamed and live sports and banning alcohol sponsorship at all sporting venues.

The amendments provided by Part 2 of the bill largely places restrictions on alcohol advertising and or sponsorship for broadcasted sporting events, with broadcasting meaning any transmission of programmes, whether or not encrypted, by radio waves or other means of telecommunication for reception by the public by means of broadcasting receiving apparatus and includes; any delayed transmission of programmes; and any transmission of programmes streamed on the internet by a broadcaster; and any transmission of programmes made on the demand of a particular person for reception only by that person.

Again, we understand that the intention here is to reduce youth exposure through sponsorship and reduce youth exposure through advertising, however, the broad nature of the amendments mean that small sporting venues, not the large venue this bill aims to target are going to be left paying the price.

If enacted this bill will prevent any club that intends to broadcast or stream a sporting event from seeking alcohol sponsorship or alcohol advertising.  It also means that any alcohol advertising at the sporting venue during the broadcast would be prohibited.

Additionally, alcohol sponsorship of a team or players would be prohibited in broadcast sports, this includes the prohibition on alcohol sponsorship of sports merchandise, uniforms and equipment.

Small community clubs and sporting codes will be the losers of this bill as they rely on every sponsorship or advertising dollar they receive.  Big broadcast events such as the Americas Cup will receive exemptions (as already provided for within the Bill) or will have non-alcohol sponsors waiting in the wings to take over.

Next Steps

The Bill is currently at the "First Reading" stage.  Once it reaches the select committee stage a call will be made for submissions.

To help us prepare for the submission phase of this bill we are asking all clubs to complete a short survey on Alcohol Sponsorship and Advertising in Clubs.  

Complete the Survey on Alcohol Sponsorship and Advertising in Clubs NOW

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