What can the Council do to support city vibrancy and minimise alcohol-related harm?

BK Ben Knight Public Seen by 61

What specific steps could the Wellington City Council take to grow a vibrant and safe city where the harm associated with alcohol is minimised?

Some things to consider might be:

  • By-laws
  • Urban design
  • Licensing
  • Responsible hosting
  • Event design

Giselle Bareta (WCC) Wed 13 Mar 2013 4:30AM

I want to encourage some blue sky thinking here...no limits to what you come up with....what was it that Rachel Hunter said "It won't happen overnight but it will happen!" :)


Aaron Thornton Sat 16 Mar 2013 3:35AM

I have noticed if there are more options for affordable good food in bars that people are more likely to eat while drinking. If all you can get are the token deep fried wedges and wings that some people especially weight conscious people are less likely to go for this. Also by suggesting people to eat at each drink order and making that the norm, people are less likely to become so intoxicated. Although I see this as hard to measure and difficult to ensure, hospitality training as part of your licensing could go someway to help. Working with businesses to develop a standard of suppling bread or nuts as a courtesy, like certain places in Europe and Japan, could improve things immensely.


Ruben de Haas Sat 16 Mar 2013 7:42AM

A big thing is for people to feel comfortable going out without feeling the compulsion to order an alcoholic beverage. The City Council could start a campain that is supportive of people not drinking. It's cool not to drink. Another good thing would be to put organise more day-time events on saturday and sunday. These could start reasonably early in the day which will force people to be more productive in the days.


Ruben de Haas Sat 16 Mar 2013 7:44AM

I feel that many young people don't learn how to entertain themselves in other ways than spending their nights getting drunk.


Lynsey Ferrari Sat 16 Mar 2013 10:56PM

I'm interested in the use of the word 'vibrant' here. Wellington is a vibrant city in many ways. Licenced premises are not the only vibrant spaces.
I liked the big alcohol-free space at the waterfront during the rugby world cup. It was a great atmosphere.

We are increasingly aware of pollution in our environment at large but seem to have a major block in cultural consciousness about pollution of our bodies. Alcohol is toxic. People become 'intoxicated' in other words poisoned. 'Drunk', 'pissed' etc are merely euphemisms for poisoned. Education around alcohol use is essential, but where is it?

The 'bloody legend' campaign about drink-driving is a good one and I hope it makes a difference - but what about the intoxicated pedestrians staggering across Karo Drive? Perhaps a sign up at the airport might be a start. "Welcome to Wellington. Beware of drunk pedestrians". Why not be honest?

Minimising the harm associated with alcohol is a broad-spectrum task. I agree with Ruben that it's cool not to drink. I know lots of cool people who don't drink or drink very little. I tend to feel sad for the people who drink a lot - young or old. I've been around long enough to see the consequences - and there's nothing cool about that.

I like Aaron's suggestion about food availability at bars. I'm wondering about the feasibility of having notices in toilets & wash-rooms listing symptoms of intoxication and advising how to get home safely.


Marion Blake Sun 17 Mar 2013 1:39AM

It would be great to consider the strategy as wider that just the 'youth drinking culture'. I think Aaron is right about the food and drinking connection. In the central city area there are an increasing number of outlets that just sell cheap alcohol.Perhaps a more judicious approach to permission to run these places would help.


vivien maidaborn Sun 17 Mar 2013 9:03PM

Just reading this discussion this morning is exciting. I see three ideas/proposals that the group could develop further if you wanted to.
Ensuring hospitality always links drink and food - how could this happen more consistently in Wellington.
Running a campaign to educate people about alcohol harm - really making the connection between toxic and intoxication
It is cool not to drink events - creating opportunities for people to learn to socialise without drinking.
Any of these could be explored here or you could open a new discussion just to expand and explore that topic.


Poll Created Mon 18 Mar 2013 7:48AM

That the WCC run a campaign that fosters the image that excessive drinking is not 'cool' Closed Thu 21 Mar 2013 4:24AM

Although, I don't mind a casual drink from time to time. Drinking in excess of ones ability to respect others is a problem clearly highlighted in this discussion. A clever campaign is needed to appeal to youth, exploring the social night life of the city, demonstrating the 'un-coolness' or 'uglyness' of over drinking.


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 28.6% 2 AT SL
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 71.4% 5 SJ MI NL JB RDH
Block 0.0% 0  
Undecided 0% 2 BK JD

7 of 9 people have participated (77%)


Aaron Thornton
Mon 18 Mar 2013 7:49AM

I think this would be a good starting point!


Ruben de Haas
Mon 18 Mar 2013 8:23AM

I think this is focused on the 'not cool' part of drinking, which is a negative. I think turning it around and focussing on what is positive works better. Not drinking is "cool". Or providing alternatives to drinking that are "cool"..

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