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Socially Responsible Bars in Rotorua

08 November 2007

Socially Responsible Bars in Rotorua

Family Planning and Toi Te Ora - Public Health are working with Rotorua bars and a local condom vending machine company to help increase access to condoms.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in New Zealand and in the Bay of Plenty are on the rise and recent data suggests there may be a high incidence of Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia in the general population. The most common risk factors for acquiring Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia were under the age of 25 and being of Maori or Pacific ethnicity. Consistent condom usage was found to lower the risk of acquiring both of these infections.

In an effort to increase access to condoms this joint venture advocated for the installation of condom vending machines in bars and recently held a promotional night to raise awareness of the availability of condoms from machines installed in the Lava Bar and Grumpy Mole Saloon in Rotorua. The evening was sponsored by New Zealand Family Planning Association and Durex.

Linda Johnston, Health Promoter from Toi Te Ora-Public Health, said that “these two bars are a great example of how the community can facilitate in promoting key health messages by their involvement and spirit in taking host responsibility a step further from what is required of them legally”.

Roger and Shelley McHale of Saxon Vending Limited Rotorua install and maintain the machines, “bars only have to authorise the installation and I take care of the rest, we service approximately 25% of the bars in Rotorua and Taupo who have condom vending machines installed” said Mr McHale.

Toi Te Ora – Public Health hope to see positive outcomes from this project such as recommendations advocating for vending machines to be put in all premises, advocate for safe sex messages to be included in premises’ host responsibility policies, and advocating for best practice regarding the provision of condoms in bars.


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