Drink campaign on
Buying booze from Tokoroa supermarkets will be a conspicuous task come tomorrow when all alcoholic beverages will be packed into bright yellow bags that read ‘‘Are you a responsible host?’’
And if it helps reduce the harm caused in the community by alcohol then it will be well worth it, according to Akarere Henry.
The South Waikato Community Action Group chairwoman said both New World and Countdown have jumped on board the Host Responsibility Resource project which will see responsible host displays placed in the alcohol sections as well as the use of bright yellow bags to pack alcoholic purchases in.
The action group was formed out of the South Waikato Social Sector Trials and is a combination of many different community organisations including SWPICS, Police, YMCA, CareNZ and the Liquor Accord.
Reducing levels of alcohol and other drug use by young people is one of four outcomes the group is working towards.
She said the stands placed in the supermarkets’ alcohol section is an original idea that will hopefully ‘‘sow the seed’’ of responsible hosting.
‘‘To our knowledge as a group we haven’t seen anything like this out there.
‘‘We can’t stop them drinking but we can try to get people to think about [responsible hosting] a bit more.’’
The stand will include recipes for mocktails and other nonalcoholic beverages.
The bright yellow bags at the checkouts is an idea evolved from a project that is still running in Te Kuiti, Henry said.
‘‘The social supply of alcohol to minors was their focus. We adapted their idea to marry it with our new resource.’’
She said the project in Te Kuiti was ‘‘very successful’’.
If the same success is felt in Tokoroa the initiative will be offered right across the district, including to Putaruru and Tirau off-licenses.
‘‘I’m really stoked, at least it’s a start.’’
The project received an initial one-off funding from the Waikato District Health Board but Henry said any future printouts or bag production runs will need to be funded independently.
Both supermarkets latched on to the idea.
Tokoroa police alcohol harm reduction officer Jaks Sherwood
have said it is a move in the right direction.
She said 80 per cent of police work nationwide is related to alcohol.
‘‘Sometimes it seems to be more than that [in Tokoroa] but there are other underlying factors like a combination of alcohol and drugs or living in a low socio-economic community.’’
She said it is ‘‘awesome’’ to see so many groups come together under the South Waikato Community Action Group umbrella for a common purpose. ‘‘ The groups are all individual identities but they’re all quite passionate about the message being raised; When you have a party look after your mates. All that good stuff that we all know about.’’
She said surveys handed out tomorrow at the promotion day will be used to gauge back from the public, the likelihood of thinking about non-alcoholic beverages.
‘‘We do hope to make a difference and change the mindset of partygoers.’’
ARE YOU? Tokoroa supermarkets will be bagging all alcoholic drinks in bright yellow bags in an attempt to raise awareness around responsible hosting and New World store manager Darin Morgan is right behind the project.