News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Coca-Cola announcement fails to fizz

Yesterday Coca-Cola New Zealand announced a sugar reduction goal of 20% across its portfolio by 2025.

Māori Public Health organisation Hāpai Te Hauora welcomes the move but says if Coca-Cola was serious about tackling the harm caused by its products, it would focus on the communities most affected by obesity and dental caries.

"Coca-Cola celebrate the growth in low and no-sugar products but it’s insincere for the company to claim a leadership role in this - it’s the consumers who have forced them to clean up their act," says Selah Hart, CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora. "This is a company that is motivated by profit and that’s the only thing they respond to. Anything else is window-dressing."

Hart urges caution before praising the company for the sugar reduction goal as there’s no sign that Coca-Cola is making any moves towards correcting health inequities in their ‘healthy lifestyles’ strategy.

"We know where the growth in low and no-sugar beverages is - it’s affluent communities who have the resources to influence change. In the supermarkets in our communities where whānau don’t have a lot of disposable income, there’s still an abundance of sugary drinks and it’s our kids whose teeth are falling out."

"We don’t just want to see a 20% reduction in sugar, we want to see a 20% tax on sugary drinks and 100% action on giving our least wealthy communities the same chance at living healthy lives as our richest."

This announcement comes on the eve of Hāpai Te Hauora’s annual summer Fizz Free Whānau challenge. Commencing on February 1, the challenge is a community-driven kaupapa now in its fourth year. Whānau commit to ditching sugary drinks for a month and Hāpai provides resources and a support network, alongside prizes for whānau who stay sugary drink free.

Fizz Free Whānau champion Graham Tipene says he’s been addicted to coke for most of his life but he’s determined to cut down for the sake of his whānau. Tipene made a Facebook post which has since gone viral, after subverting Coca-Cola’s Christmas promotion.

"They decided they would let anyone put any name they wanted on a bottle or can. I took up the offer and got Mate huka and Niho parau inscribed on the labels. That’s the truth of what the product does to us. I don’t think we should be out there celebrating having our names on something that is doing so much harm."

Tipene continues "Now they’re asking us to be impressed that their sales of bottled water are going up. Are they serious? They’re polluting our environment with plastic and making money off something that comes out of the tap, and we’re meant to be happy about it? It’s ridiculous."


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Anna Coddington Beams

Anna Coddington's thin, wispy vocals fit her songs beautifully, providing a wonderful lilting quality that pervades her latest album, producing instant ear worms. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>

Howard Davis: Avantdale Bowling Club

Auckland rapper and MC Tom Scott brought his stunning jazz-infused Taite Music Prize-winning project Avantdale Bowling Club to the Opera House headlining Wellington's 2020 Jazz Festival. More>>

Howard Davis: Troy Kingi Rules The San Fran

The award-winning Northland musician performed songs from his new record The Ghost of Freddie Cesar, the fourth installment in his 10/10/10 series - ten albums in ten years in ten genres. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland