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Synod seeks cuts in liquor advertising

General Synod wants the NZ Government to reduce alcohol advertising.

Jayson Rhodes  |  11 May 2010

General Synod wants the NZ Government to limit alcohol advertising because of the damage it does to communities.

A motion brought by Mrs Margaret Butterfield (Christchurch) originally sought a complete ban on such advertising, in line with a resolution at the Christchurch Diocesan Synod last October.

However, Synod softened this demand because of the message it might send to moderate drinkers.

Earlier, Synod heard that New Zealand is caught in a primal, binge-drinking crisis.

Professor Doug Sellman, Director of the National Addiction Centre at the University of Otago, told Synod to take a stand in what he called a national crisis.

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the way we regulate alcohol in society. It is a national crisis and way of life and you have a role to address what science tells us needs to be treated as a class B drug.”

Archbishop David Moxon told Synod: “We as a church need to speak out and bring hope to what is a situation of hopelessness. And as we speak out we also need to look at ourselves.”

Synod expressed strong support for Professor Sellman’s 5+ solution to NZ's alcohol crisis.

The solution is six-fold:

• Raise the price of alcohol

• Raise the purchase age

• Reduce accessibility

• Reduce marketing and advertising

• Increase drink-drive counter counter measures.

• Increase treatment opportunities for heavy drinkers.

Synod members also voted to actively increase their own vigilance of alcohol consumption and to hold each other to account.