Drinking culture needs tougher line
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
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.