Monday 28 July 2014
6.00pm - Induction for new members 2014-2016
Youth Advisory Panel
OPEN MINUTE ITEM ATTACHMENTS
7 Draft Auckland Council Local Alcohol Policy
8 Updates from Youth Advisory Panel Members
9 Subcommittee update
Youth Advisory Panel
28 July 2014
1.1 This document provides formal feedback from the Youth Advisory Panel (“YAP”) for Auckland Council’s Draft Local Alcohol Policy (“LAP”).
1.2 YAP is one of the council’s advisory panels. One representative from each of the 21 local boards aged between 12 and 24 years is elected on to the panel to advise the council on matters relating to children and young people. Its purpose is to identify and communicate the interests and preferences of Auckland’s young people.
1.3 This feedback has been synthesised from YAP members and a number of youth consultation workshops and local youth boards/ councils; including: Albert-Eden Youth Board, Manurewa Youth Council, West Auckland Youth Council, Papakura Youth Council, Howick Youth Council and a workshop held in conjunction with Youthline. This document aims to embody a collective Auckland youth voice and is representative of all 21 YAP members.
1.4 This draft policy is of high interest to youth, and provokes large social implications. YAP welcomes the opportunity to further discuss this report at a hearing.
2 Executive Summary
2.1 Overall, YAP supports the intent of LAP appreciates its potential for reducing alcohol-related harm for youth in Auckland.
2.2 A range of diverse opinions and views were received on all areas of LAP from the youth of Auckland, and therefore YAP recommends a precautionary approach to the policy, in recognition of differential opinions
2.3 This report includes feedback relating to the following:
· Broad areas and priority overlay areas
· Location and density of on and off-licence premises
· Opening and closing hours of on and off-licence premises
· Discretionary conditions
2.4 YAP also recognises
that there a number of contributing factors in the appeal of alcohol products
to young people, and that different demographic groups may react differently to
the proposed policy. Although beyond LAP, a broader public health approach
should be sought to reduce alcohol-harm amongst young people.
3 Youth Advisory Panel’s response on Auckland Council’s Draft Local Alcohol Policy
3.1 Broad areas and priority overlay
3.1.1 Overall, there is support for the division of Broad Areas A and B (point 2).
3.1.2 There is also unanimous support for the priority overlay areas (point2.3) to identify locations where there are known rates of alcohol-related harm in the communities. These areas often have large numbers of young people congregating, and therefore a stronger focus is encouraged, with more diligent and rigid approach.
3.1.3 However, the application of priority overlay areas to such small areas of the CBD is seen to be of little value. It is negligible to increase reinforcement for a specific location when surrounding areas have the potential to become worse.
3.2 Location and density of on-licence, off-licence and special licence premises
3.2.1 Overall, YAP supports the adoption of the draft LAP. In particular, there is support in principle for the proposed policy tools listed in LAP as indicative means of restricting the sale and supply of liquor, and as a proactive approach in reducing alcohol-related harm.
3.2.2 Furthermore, there is strong support for the Environmental and Cumulative Impact Assessments (ECIA) (point 3.1). This is increasingly pertinent for off-licences and there is the need to have specific proximity controls, including sensitive sites that are determined by the communities themselves.
(a) Sensitive sites should include (point 3.1.1(b)):
· All schools (primary, intermediate, secondary)
· Early Childhood Education
· Children’s playgrounds and recreational spaces
· Transport options
· Location of other off-licence premises
(b) There is a requirement to notify all organisation/ companies/ residents within a specified buffer zone of any new or renewal of licence applications. This fosters engagement by the community members on the application process and provides opportunity to apply certain discretionary conditions to the licence which minimise alcohol-related harm as an effect of that particular licence.
3.2.3 YAP recommends that all applications for special licences require an ECIA. Considerations should be under-taken on a case by case basis, and should include: proximity of off/on-licences and their opening hours, location (residential/non-residential), and likely risk of event.
3.2.4 There is also unanimous support for the temporary freeze on new off-licence applications (point 3.3), with some suggestion that the proposed two years is not merely enough in certain areas of Auckland, particularly at Neighbourhood centres.
3.2.5 These location and density policies provide classification of risk profiles and ultimately builds awareness to the immediate harmful effects of alcohol in the communities. Ideally, Policies that de-normalise the current ways of alcohol consumption, and shift the community culture around alcohol are needed and both ECIA and rebuttable presumptions should be applied to all licence applications.
3.3 Opening and closing hours:
(a) There are indifferent views whether off-licences should all have the same maximum opening hours. If the same hours were implemented, a clear definition for the sale of alcohol will be realised. However, supermarkets are highly scrutinised and regulated, and perhaps an exemption should be considered.
(b) Proximity to sensitive areas also needs to be taken into consideration for opening hours. If off-licences are only open in the evenings, this limits accessibility for young people and therefore discourages unhealthy drinking habits that can cause alcohol-related harm in the communities.
(c) YAP strongly supports the closure of off-licence stores between the hours of 2:30 to 4:00pm when students are leaving school
(d) Suggestions for opening hours are 12noon to 8:00pm, with maximum hours as 10:00am to 10:00pm.
(a) YAP do not support licensees being eligible to apply for an extension of trading hours granted on the basis of best practice. Hours should be set and closely monitored, as extensions could generate a large congregation in a specific premise or location. However, alternative incentives could be explored for premises to encourage continual best practice.
(b) Though beyond the scope of LAP, there is strong suggestion to have on-licences premises to remain open for an hour post-alcohol licence sale hours to refrain from large influxes of people on the streets, and to encourage them to “sober-up”.
3.3.3 The time difference
between closure of on-licences and opening hours of off-licence premises also
needs to be considered. It is dangerous if the time difference is minimal
(within 5 hours) as there is potential for prolonged intoxication and
endangerment to the public.
3.4 Discretionary Conditions and other comments
3.4.1 One-way door policy:
(a) YAP supports a one-way door policy, particularly for on-licence premises within Broad Area A. With the proposed earlier closure times, there is an increased potential for people to consume larger volumes of alcohol and then be rapidly forced on to the street at closure.
(b) As there is no clear evidence on the effectiveness of the one-way door policy, YAP recommends it to be monitored and reviewed for effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related harm (such as violence) after one year of implementation.
3.4.2 Restriction on drinks prior to closing:
YAP supports the proposed restriction on high strength drinks in the hours prior to closing, however also recognises that this may subsequently encourage consumption of large volumes of low strength alcohol, which has the potential to cause more alcohol-related harm, particularly to the consumer.
3.4.3 Restrictions on single unit sales:
(a) YAP is concerned with the restriction imposed for off-licence premises for single unit sales (point 5.5.2). This has the potential for a reverse effect, forcing the purchase of multiple bottles and therefore escalating the chances of increased consumption in one sitting.
(b) A suggestion is to instead set a bench-mark of the maximum volume, in relation to alcohol percentage and strength, to be purchased by one person at a time at off-licence premises.
3.4.4 YAP also proposes the following additional discretionary conditions:
(a) On-licence security is accountable for prescribed vicinity outside of the premises, not just within premises.
(b) Safe transport options to be available within a short walking distance from premises.
(c) Increased vigilance and discretionary conditions to be implemented at large public events. One suggestion is segregated areas for alcohol consumption.
4. Youth Advisory Panel’s recommendations to reduce alcohol-related harm in youth
4.1 YAP recognises that there is a large “binge-drinking culture” amongst young people in New Zealand, and that mechanisms for reducing alcohol-related harm extend beyond limitations to accessibility and availability of alcohol.
4.2 The social norm of alcohol for youth is a means of socialisation, and limitations to its availability may only propagate other riskier behaviours, in the explorative years of youth.
4.3 YAP strongly encourages the Council to keep advocating for change and recommends for alcohol advertising and signage outside of stores to be controlled and minimised. Also, the branding and sponsorship of events by alcohol companies only fuels normalisation of the current drinking culture.
4.4 A broader, targeted public health and health promotion approach would be of benefit to young people in Auckland. This would ultimately generate support in alcohol-related harm reduction strategies (including policies similar to this) and instigate cultural change in this easily influenced and at-risk population. Suggestions include:
· Utilisation of social media to encourage safe and healthy drinking habits
· Increased alcohol education programmes in schools and community organisations
· Support and youth specific resources on alcohol-related harm
· Youth champions/ ambassadors promoting safe drinking behaviours.
4.5 Despite the well-known statistics, LAP currently fails to acknowledge the seriousness of alcohol-related harm in youth, and therefore YAP recommends a review on the outcomes and impacts of young people after 12 months of implementation. It also suggests increased specification of youth within the policy.
While YAP supports the overall intent of the LAP in principle and the motivation in reducing alcohol-related harm, it proposes a number of recommendations and suggestions that will have positive implications on young people and the drinking behaviours often displayed by them. The response to LAP is diverse and varied, however YAP is committed to reducing alcohol-related harm in youth, and recognises the external social influences that may mask the success of LAP. In order to successfully reduce alcohol related harm in youth, it is important that youth voices are legitimised in developing alcohol minimisation strategies. By providing alternative, meaningful initiatives to encourage safe drinking habits, more successful outcomes for youth will be realised.
28 July 2014
· Supports the adoption of the draft Local Alcohol Policy (LAP).
· Supports the adoption of the priority overlay areas (point2.3) but requests that the buffer zone be extended on a case by case basis to include a larger range in order to make a suitable difference to the community.
· Requests the inclusion of all schools (including Early Childhood Education) children’s playgrounds and recreational spaces; transport options; and location of other off-licence premises in the list of sensitive sites (3.1.1(b)).
· Retain the ECIA process and request the addition of a new policy point to read: “3.1.5 The council’s policy is that there is a requirement to notify all organisation/ companies/ residents within a specified buffer zone of any new or renewal of licence applications.”
· Supports the addition of new policy that specifies the following: “No further on or off-licences should be issued within 500m of schools until specified.” (point 3.1)
· Requests an amendment to point 3.1 by adding “this includes applications for special licences”.
· Supports the retention the proposed temporary (2 year) freeze on the issue of new off-licences in the Priority Overlays (point 5.1.2).
· Supports the retention of the ‘rebuttable presumption’ and ECIA provision; and requests the addition of the text to “extend to all of Broad Areas A and B, especially priority over lay areas from the time of adoption of the LAP.” (point 3.1 and 3.2 ).
· Supports the adoption of the broad area approach proposed by the draft LAP (Point 2.2).
· Requests an additional point: “5.6.3 – That the licensee shall observe the following opening hours due to the close proximity to a sensitive – (School), Monday to Sunday 12noon to 8.00pm; except that on any day that the school within 500m is open for the purpose of providing education services, the hours will be; 12noon to 200pm and 4.00pm to 8.00pm.”
· Supports the maximum trading hours (point 3.4) but requests that the maximum operating hours for an off- licence licensee to be 10:00am to 10:00pm
· Does not support the trial extensions for best practice on licences (point 3.5) and recommends for points 4.3.1 (b) and 4.3.2 (b) to be removed and for alternative incentives to be proposed.
· Supports the addition of new policy which specifies the following: “4.5.7 A one-way door policy is to be applied for premises within Broad Area A one hour prior to closure. This will be reviewed after one year from adoption of LAP.”
· Supports the retention of restriction on drinks prior to closing (point 4.5.2) and requests the addition of text “limit all drinks to single serve within the last hour before closing.”
· Does not support the restriction on single unit sales (point 5.5.2) and requests a change in the policy to read “The licensee must not sell more than X volume (to be determined by expert) to one person at one time.”
· Supports the retention of visibility and minimum numbers of security staff (points 4.5.4 & 4.6.1)and requests the addition of text “requirements of security staff to be accountable for prescribed vicinity outside of premises (4.6.1)
· Requests for an additional policy point to be added: “4.5.8 safe transport options must be available to patrons within a short distance from premises”
· Supports the additional matters to be considered for discretionary conditions for special licences and requests the amendment of text to read “requirements for provision of dry areas or safe zones.
· Requests that the hearing panel is asked to consider the alcohol harm that arises from outdoor liquor advertising, and to recommend to the Governing Body that advertising signs bylaws be developed to control liquor advertising.
· Requests that Auckland Council investigates the possibility of the provision of safe drinking educational resources and programmes for youth and recommends a greater utilisation of social media to encourage safe drinking habits
· Requests that an additional clause to be added in the policy specifying the impact of LAP on youth and the addition of policy point: “A review will be carried out one year after adoption of LAP on the reduction of alcohol related harm, especially for youth.
2. Requests continual consultation on matters relating to alcohol, ensuring that youth voices are heard and legitimised.
28 July 2014
Albert-Eden Youth Board
· The Albert Eden Youth Board has successfully recruited eight new members to join the youth board, and now has a total of 14 members.
· A submission for Auckland Council’s Draft Local Alcohol Policy was produced and submitted by its foundation members.
· Two groups of four creative writing sessions for young people, “New Kiwi Voices” has been successfully held. This programme was funded and supported by AEYB, but had a number of young attendees from schools and universities across Auckland.
Agnes Wong – Albert-Eden Youth Representative
· Attended the Youth Disabilities Disco, funded by both Albert-Eden and Puketepapa Local Boards in partnership with The Cube.
· Attended a youth panel discussion on Auckland Council’s propose Local Approved Products Policy (sale and purchase of “legal highs”).
· Hosted the Central Sub-regional Mocktail evening for Auckland Council’s Draft Local Alcohol Policy, which was held in partnership with Youthline.
· Met with staff from the Cancer Society to build relationships and investigate current initiatives for reducing youth smoking in Auckland.
28 July 2014
1. Local Alcohol Policy:
a. A successful mocktail evening was held at the Youthline offices for World café style discussions on the draft Local Alcohol Policy in early July. This was well attended by a number of representatives from youth boards/ councils as well as young members of the public interested in reducing alcohol-related harm in youth.
b. A report has been compiled with the feedback and recommendations from a number of youth boards/ council workshops and submissions on the proposed policy. A draft version is attached in this agenda, and a final version will be tabled at the meeting.
2. Youth smoking and tobacco:
a. Agnes met with the Cancer Society’s health Promotion Manager to discuss YAP’s submission on the tobacco plain packing Bill and current initiatives the Cancer Society is currently undertaking to improve youth smoking rates. They were very interested in the work of YAP and wish to attend one of the meetings in the near future.