Drink­ing cul­ture needs tougher line

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Brook Turner says the pro­mo­tion of ex­ces­sive drink­ing still dom­i­nates Kiwi cul­ture but a new cam­paign he is spear­head­ing im­plores young peo­ple not to ‘‘drown your dreams’’.

The Tawa res­i­dent is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of youth or­gan­i­sa­tion Zeal, which has venues in Auck­land, Welling­ton and, soon, Hamil­ton. In the last year more than 57,000 young peo­ple have dropped in af­ter school, par­tic­i­pated in work­shops, high school and week­end events, and used re­hearsal rooms and record­ing stu­dios at Zeal.

Mr Turner says he was in­ter­ested to read a re­cent KapiMana News’ ar­ti­cle with the head­line ‘Party at my place’, in which a Miss Tui con­tes­tant was in­tend­ing to throw a boozy party if she won.

He did his Mas­ters the­sis on the sub­ject of teenage binge drink­ing and its so­cial and eco­nomic ef­fects on so­ci­ety.

‘‘I star­tled my­self with some of things I found out, the sta­tis­tics are re­ally damn­ing of how it’s a ‘nor­mal’ part of the New Zealand cul­ture.’’

Zeal has started a na­tion­wide cam­paign against teenage drink­ing, which kicked off last month with the re­lease of the sin­gle and video for Find A Way by su­per­group All My Broth­ers. Mr Turner was ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of the song.

Sid­ney Di­a­mond (for­merly of Smash­proof), Adeaze, Fran­cis Kora, Mar­cus Pow­ell (Blindspott/ Black­list) and Ben Camp­bell (Zed) are among the mu­si­cians that came to­gether to record the sin­gle, en­cour­ag­ing young peo­ple to fo­cus on their dreams, in­stead of the drink.

The clip has been picked up by mu­sic video chan­nels and the cam­paign has al­ready fea­tured promi­nently in other me­dia but Mr Turner says young peo­ple in Tawa and Porirua still need to be re­minded.

‘‘We’re do­ing our best to fight pop cul­ture with pop cul­ture, it’s what young peo­ple un­der­stand. But it is hard, look at the fa­mous ‘ ghost chips’ ad­vert that tells peo­ple about not drink­ing and driv­ing – it’s got a pos­i­tive mes­sage on the one hand but still telling us it’s okay to binge drink with your mates. What we’re try­ing to say is that drink­ing is rob­bing peo­ple, es­pe­cially youth, of their po­ten­tial.’’

Zeal raised the money for the song and hope to pro­duce two more and a doc­u­men­tary this year.

Mr Turner says the de­bate around rais­ing the drink­ing age to 20, ad­ver­tis­ing and hours of sell­ing al­co­hol and liquor li­cens­ing is­sues in Fan­tame St and Pukerua Bay makes their cam­paign part of a ‘‘ def­i­nite shift’’ in at­ti­tudes but one that still needs to be ham­mered home to youth.

Money raised from sales of Find A Way on itunes will go to­wards a Zeal de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme, ‘Fund Your Dream’.

Search Youtube for Broth­ers, Find A Way’.

‘ All My

Photo sup­plied.

All My Broth­ers: Mem­bers of the all-star mu­si­cal out­fit have come to­gether to record the song ‘Find A Way’, which is get­ting plenty of air­time across the coun­try.

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