Alcohol advertising removed from public transport buses
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is being praised for removing alcohol advertising from its public transport bus fleet, in support of curbing the region’s high hazardous and binge drinking rates.
Earlier this year, Hawke’s Bay’s Joint Alcohol Strategy Reference Group, led by Hastings District and Napier City councils, asked the Regional Council to consider removing alcohol advertising from its goBay buses.
The Regional Council supported the move and has since amended its advertising guidelines and will no longer advertise alcohol.
At the same time, Napier City and Hastings District councils undertook to remove alcohol advertising from bus shelters in the two areas that they manage.
The reference group was established by Hastings District and Napier City councils in 2013 to support the implementation of their Joint Alcohol Strategy, which was reviewed and updated in 2017.
Membership of the group includes Hawke’s Bay DHB, ACC, Community Action on Youth and Drugs, Directions Youth Health Centre, Health Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand Police, Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated, Te Kupenga Hauora – Ahuriri, and Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga.
The group was pleased the Regional Council had taken the request seriously and had changed its bus advertising guidelines, and noted that such steps, however small, would help curb and change the binge drinking/hazardous drinking culture in Hawke’s Bay.
Across the country, Auckland appeared to be the only other region that had adopted a similar approach – undertaken by Auckland Transport.
The Regional Council’s transport coordinator Megan Welsby said its decision to review public transport advertising guidelines added to other council efforts to promote wellbeing.
“We promote the wellness benefits of public transport as being a great way to get regular exercise by walking to and from the bus stop, and a great way to chill out and relax, so it was an easy decision to remove the advertising of alcohol from the back of our goBay buses.”
The review was in conjunction with Go Bus Transport Ltd.