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April 8, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Drinking Disgust Discussed

Wellington Youth Hold Forum on Alcohol Strategy

Wellington’s youth have voiced their opinions, views and ideas on how alcohol should be managed in the city, during a recently held Youth Alcohol Workshop.

The Wellington City Council’s Alcohol Management Strategy is currently being drafted in response to the Government’s Alcohol Reform Bill, aiming to look at the conditions of liquor stores and licences, as well as looking at general alcohol-related behaviour.

The aim of the workshop was to get young people involved in local decision-making, and being the change they wanted to see in the city. Around 20 young people aged between 15 and 25 attended the workshop on Saturday 23 March, held at Te Papa.

Discussions included underage drinking and pre-loading in the suburbs, the roadblocks for change, social attitudes towards binge drinking, and possible solutions and incentives to promote safe alcohol consumption.

Ideas were floated for ‘safe houses’ in town, where people could have a place to sober up; smartphone apps that could inform people how intoxicated they were; and a particular need for youth education on social drinking and alternatives to binge drinking.

VUWSA Vice-President (Welfare) Simon Tapp, who attended the forum, was impressed with the Council’s engagement with youth. “I was also hugely impressed with the eloquent, rational and informed youth present, from Year Nine through to uni students.

“it’s not just a youth and student issue [and] any alcohol policy needs to try to fix New Zealand’s culture and attitudes towards alcohol,” he said.

The workshop was hosted by the Wellington City Youth Council and Link, a group from the Wellington Boys’ and Girls’ Institute.

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