Wellington embraces online drinking discussion
Finding the right mix: Wellington embraces online drinking discussion
For immediate release March 21st 2013
Wellingtonians from all walks of life are getting together online to work with the City Council in a new way. A diverse mix, including bar owners, residents’ associations, students and families are using Loomio, an internet tool built by a Wellington social enterprise, to collaborate with Council staff on the Alcohol Management Strategy for the city.
“There’s been a really enthusiastic uptake of people wanting to discuss how the city can maintain its vibrancy without the negative impacts of excessive drinking,” says Alanna Krause, Loomio team member and online facilitator. “Given the publicity around drinking in and around events like Homegrown and the Sevens, there’s a real desire to get this right.”
The “Wellington Online Collaboration” running on the Loomio platform complements the written submission and in-person consultation the Council is conducting around alcohol management in a comprehensive public consultation exercise this year.
There are already around 100 people participating in discussion topics ranging from funding more alcohol-free events in the city to the implementation of compulsory breath-testing on entry to licensed premises in the CBD.
“The value of Loomio has been in providing a neutral space for productive dialogue, without needing to go to a public meeting. You’ve got really diverse viewpoints coming together, which, could be quite challenging in an in-person setting. Online, everyone can speak at the same time but it’s still easy for every voice to be heard”, says Marion Blake, an Owhiro Bay resident and new participant in the discussion.
“For me, one of the most exciting things is seeing the innovative ideas that come out when different perspectives meet and work together”.
One possibility currently under discussion is the development of an online system allowing Wellingtonians to celebrate responsible alcohol outlets and raise flags when alcohol isn’t managed responsibly.
The Wellington Online Collaboration is running from now until the end of April, and anyone can get involved here: https://www.loomio.org/collaborate