In recent weeks several alcohol delivery services have promoted their businesses in the New Zealand media. The news website Stuff reported on one in Hamilton and another in Auckland.
Hāpai Te Hauora CEO Lance Norman says this is a worrying development which has the potential to increase alcohol-related harm. "This is an unnecessary expansion of the alcohol industry which will put some people who are already at risk in harm's way. Alcohol is already too readily available in our communities. Hāpai believes the new alcohol delivery services will extend alcohol accessibility even further and impede community efforts to limit alcohol availability".
Norman references the findings of a study presented at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine conference in Queenstown last month. "This study of alcohol-related harm impacting patients, whānau and staff at Auckland Hospital is alarming and points to the continued need for community voices to inform alcohol policies at a local and national level. We are already experiencing the effects of extensive alcohol availability, and do not think that the addition of these alcohol delivery businesses will contribute to the wellbeing of our communities in a positive way".
Hāpai Te Hauora is supporting the community voice for the reduction of alcohol-related harm by providing evidence for the Alcohol Healthwatch appeal of the Provisional Local Alcohol Policy in Auckland. Anthony Hawke General Manager Māori Public Health for Hāpai Te Hauora raised the example of the community response to the Thirsty Liquor Wickman Way alcohol store in Māngere, Auckland. "This is an example of the sort of sentiment that is out there in our communities opposing increased access to alcohol, particularly around schools. The media articles referencing these alcohol delivery businesses highlight concerns by public health advocates and health sector representatives, and the Māori Public Health team at Hāpai adds its voice on behalf of our communities".