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SADD Students Give Up Holidays To Take A Stand

28 June 2002

SADD Students Give Up Holidays To Take A Stand Against Driving Drunk

170 high school students from all over New Zealand are giving up the first week of their holidays to discuss ways to beat the problem of drink driving in their communities.
(See following list for areas attending students come from.)

They are attending the largest ever national conference for Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD) which begins in Canterbury on Sunday 30 June and goes through to Thursday 4 July. It is to be held at the Living Springs Conference Centre (30 minutes from central Christchurch - turn off at Bamfords Road, 3.5 kms from Governor's Bay).

Chloe Johnston, national co-ordinator for SADD, said she is thrilled with the large number of students attending and says the conference will concentrate on the sharing of ideas and experiences.

"Though drink driving is a serious issue that affects thousands of people every year, SADD recognises the positive and vital role young people play in reducing alcohol related crashes.

"The power that young people have to make positive changes of behaviour is awesome. While the 15 - 24 year age group is still over-represented in the road toll, the interest in this conference is yet another indication that the drive sober message is being picked up.

"It is an encouraging step in the right direction. These students will go back to their communities motivated, full of ideas and will enthusiastically spread the word that drinking and driving is not acceptable.

The conference will be opened at 7.30 pm on Sunday 30 June by Alliance MP, Liz Gordon, and former All Black, Norm Hewitt. Lectures, workshops, drama and comedy workshops and discussions will take place during the week.

Tuesday 2 July is of particular interest with briefings from: Family Planning; information on safe parties and the law; school ball promotion and parties; and the Police talking about alcohol breath-testing and taking students through the breath-testing process.

SADD is a national non-profit organisation governed by the Automobile Association's Driver Education Foundation (AADEF). Chief executive, Peter Sheppard, stresses the importance of the successful peer education work SADD undertakes.

"Young people relate best to messages from their peers. SADD works for students because the Drive Sober message is promoted in a way that registers with the age group," he said.

For further information on SADD's national conference or SADD activities, please contact: Chloe Johnston, national co-ordinator, phone 03 374 9218; fax 03 374 9219; mobile 027 248 0611; email: saddsth@nzaa.co.nz, or Joanne Ruscoe or May Ho: phone 04 472 4102; fax 04 472 4108; email: may@rpr.co.nz

Chloe and the students are available to talk with during the conference. The students will be happy to talk with you on their return to their hometowns. Contact Chloe for their school details.

ends

Areas where attending students come from:
(listed in alphabetical order)

Auckland Alexandra Blenheim Carterton
Christchurch Darfield Dunedin Featherston
Feilding Gisborne Hamilton Hastings
Havelock North Kaikohe Kaitaia Kerekeri
Masterton Maungaturoto Motueka New Plymouth
Okato Optiki Orewa Otane
Palmerston (SI) Stratford Riverton Reefton
Rotorua Tauranga Te Awamutu Te Puke
Timaru Tuakau Waimate Wellington
Westport Whangarei Whitianga

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