13 January 2014 • Media Releases

Prioritise health before the interests of business

The YouTube video of the 9 year excessively drunk boy has shocked and saddened New Zealanders and once again highlighted the critical need to pay more than lip service to reducing the harms to our society from alcohol.

It was most disappointing to read (January 10th) that the Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said in relation to the opening of a further liquor outlet in Aranui that has attracted intense community concern, “We can’t become too myopic and too constrained about where you’re doing business and how you are doing it, because that’s what business is about.” Surely the time has come to prioritise the health and wellbeing of families and ordinary citizens above the interests of business and to enact legislation that deals with the gross availability and marketing of alcohol, a toxic drug, to our most vulnerable citizens.

Daryle Deering

President Te Ao Māramatanga New Zealand College of Mental Health Nurses