Healthy Families Whanganui Rangitīkei Ruapehu are active members of the Safer Whanganui (International Safe Community Accreditation) Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) reference group. This is a collaborative group made up of services and organisations working in the alcohol space from a prevention perspective.
The AOD reference group have worked with the Whanganui District Council to develop the Draft Local Alcohol Policy that was recently put out for public consultation and subsequently adopted as provisional on the 4 July 2017.
The provisional policy is now subject to appeal up until 5th August 2017.
Prior to the development of the draft policy the AOD reference group members alongside Research First developed a survey to gain community views on alcohol in order to inform the policy.
The AOD reference group actively informed the community of the consultation process and encouraged community submissions.
86 submissions were received with 17 oral submissions being heard by the statutory management committee.
The preventative measures in the policy show great leadership from the Whanganui District Council in reducing alcohol related harm in the community.
Key provisions in the policy include:
No new off-licences (with the exception of supermarkets and grocery stores) will be granted if they are determined to be within 100 metres of the legal site boundary to a sensitive site.
Sensitive sites now include alcohol treatment centres and children’s playgrounds as well as early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools, marae and places of worship.
Off-licences in the Whanganui District will be limited to 16, excluding supermarkets and grocery stores.
A one-way door restriction will apply to on-licences where licensed hours exceed midnight. This means anyone exiting a tavern, bar, pub or nightclub are not to be admitted or re-admitted one hour before the establishment closes.
Maximum hours for clubs are 8.00am to midnight.
Maximum licensed hours for off-licences, grocery stores, and supermarkets 7.00am to 9.30pm.
The AOD reference group have also been successful in gaining Health Promotion Agency (HPA) Social Supply Community Action Project funding for 3 years.
The project is aimed at influencing the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of parents and caregivers in communities around Aotearoa so that they support their children to remain alcohol free until they are older.
The collaborative group are currently in the planning phase for the work with environmental scanning and key message development currently underway.