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Voices missing from liquor advertising review

May 29 2006

Crucial voices missing from liquor advertising review

The absence of community groups, youth and NGOs from the panel set to review alcohol advertising regulations has left a gaping hole in the review process, Green Party Drug and Alcohol Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

"While it is good news that a panel will soon be looking closely at how alcohol can safely be advertised, and at whether liquor industry promotions, advertisements, and product placement do comply with the regulations, some crucial voices are missing from the panel.

"All of the people on the receiving end of liquor advertising have been excluded from having direct representation," Mrs Turei says.

"I have no problem with an industry representative being on the panel, or with the presence of the bureaucrats who may be tasked with administering the policy - but surely, the balancing viewpoint of community groups, and of youth who bear the brunt of liquor advertising and its effects should also be represented.

"The Green Party has been a very strong advocate of a harm minimisation approach to alcohol use. The fact that those groups in society most at risk of harm from alcohol are not directly represented can only serve to undermine the worth of the panel's deliberations," Mrs Turei says.

"Before the panel begins its work, I think the Government should urgently review its makeup.

"I think we have to make it less prone to capture by the liquor industry and by Government officials, and far more representative of those groups who have a direct stake in alcohol's impact on their age group, and on their communities."

ENDS

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