Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Taxpayer Money Used To Attack Alcohol Advertising

28 November, 2003


The Beer Wine and Spirits Council, representing 90% of the beer market, is pleased that the Ministry of Health has cancelled its contracts with Alcohol Healthwatch, where taxpayer money was used to lobby MP’s with anti alcohol information.

Chief executive of the Beer Wine and Spirits Council, Nicki Stewart, says the industry is astounded to discover that nearly $800,000 of taxpayer money has been channelled into Alcohol Healthwatch to mount a negative political campaign against the industry.

“The Government needs to have integrity and be seen to be impartial and transparent in its making of the law”, she says.

“By paying a non government organisation (NGO) to promote its position, the Ministry of Health demonstrates it has preconceived notions of how issues around the sale, advertising and consumption of alcohol should be regulated. We would have expected them to be impartially assessing, or at least letting our elected representatives assess, the merits of the information put in front of them”.

Nicki Stewart says a good example of how misleading this sort of practice can be, is the requirement in the contract with Alcohol Healthwatch that “approximately 5 complaints are made per annum to challenge the marketing of alcohol to young people”.

“This sort of requirement means go and find complaints to make, and if you can’t find any – what happens then?”

“The industry has worked hard in the area of advertising and since 1995, the number of complaints about the advertising of alcohol has dropped by 60%. Of all complaints about advertising in 2002, only 4-7% were about alcohol.”

“Funding an NGO to be adversarial and underground in its advocacy is not the way to bring about positive change in society. As an industry we welcome working with government agencies towards sensible regulations and good health outcomes for adults in their consumption and enjoyment of beer.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news