Local Alcohol Policy Update

The initial round of community engagement finished in late April, and the formal consultation on the draft policy starts on 2 July.  Those with a particular interest in the issues might well check out the reports considered by the WCC Strategy Committee of 20 June (Report 3 and Appendices).  Of particular interest are the comments from the Medical Officer of Health based on an analysis of alcohol related visits to the Hospital Emergency Department.  “This analysis shows that problem binge drinking and “preloading” is predominantly taking place in the Southern, Lambton and Eastern wards. The Mt Cook, Te Aro, Newtown, Brooklyn, Island Bay, Miramar/Strathmore Park and Kilbirnie/Melrose stand out as problem areas.”  Food for thought!  Although one or two sceptics have wondered whether data from the Hospital Emergency Department really captures the incidence of alcohol related harm, or merely records proximity to and the accessibility of the Hospital.