Auckland's Denizen magazine removes 'wine pong' post expert says could encourage women to binge drink

An Auckland magazine has removed an online post promoting a drinking game which Alcohol Healthwatch says could encourage excessive drinking among women.

The Denizen - an Auckland-based online magazine with a combined online following on Facebook and Instagram of more than 163,000 - published a post on January 4 about "prosecco pong".

"Saluti! Prosecco Pong is usurping Beer Pong as the drinking game of choice," the post was titled.

"Beer pong's slightly classier and more feminine counterpart has arrived.

"Compelling us to partake in a few competitive rounds of the flirty and frivolous drinking over the silly season, Prosecco Pong adheres to much the same rules but employs coupes instead of the iconic red solo cups and Italian bubbly in lieu of beer."

The post also contained a link to a UK retailer where sets of glasses and ping pong balls could be purchased to play the game.

A typical setup during a game of beer pong
A typical setup during a game of beer pong. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Beer pong is a drinking game where six cups are arranged at either end of a table and filled with beer, before opponents try to throw or bounce a ping pong ball into one of their opponent's cups.

When a ball is sunk, the owner must consume the contents of the vessel on the spot before the game continues.

The beer consumed, with a typical alcohol content of 3.5 per cent to 5 per cent, could account for 1-2 standard drinks in a game, but prosecco wine typically carries an alcohol content of 11.5 per cent or more.

Chief executive of Alcohol Healthwatch, Dr Nicki Jackson, said the posts were "not responsible" and could be encouraging more women to binge drink.

"Given that women's drinking has been increasing every year - women are drinking more than ever - this is absolutely going in the wrong direction," Dr Jackson said.

Women's drinking is a huge problem in this country ... it's not pleasing to see. - Alcohol Healthwatch CEO Dr Nicki Jackson

"It's 11 per cent alcohol - there's a likelihood that women who participate in this game will totally exceed the New Zealand guidelines [for alcohol consumption] and put themselves at both short and long term health risk.

"It's not responsible - it could also be seen to encourage excessive consumption, which is against our laws."

In regards to breaching the law, a police spokesperson said "Police do not support advertising or promotion of drinking games", but concluded that the post "would not meet the Solicitor General's guidelines for Police to investigate this matter".

Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority Hilary Souter said she was not able to comment on whether the post had breached any of their principles, which include specific clauses around social responsibility when promoting alcohol, "as this could prejudice complaints we may receive about it".

Ms Souter said a similar post by deal site 1day.co.nz in 2014 advertising a drinking game led to a successful complaint around adherence to the the ASA's principles.

Publisher and editor-in-chief of The Denizen Claire Sullivan told 1 NEWS The Denizen was not paid by the linked website to have the item published, but that it was "merely something that was deemed of interest by one of our (very) junior writers".

"You could call it moralistic slip-up over a time period when myself and the senior editors have been on holiday and not reviewing all content," Ms Sullivan said.

"Obviously this has raised some flags from my perspective as to our need to monitor ALL content for appropriateness before it is posted.

"I have removed the post and explained in detail to the writer in question the reasoning for doing such."

A screenshot of the Denizen website featuring an item promoting the wine pong drinking game
A screenshot of the Denizen website featuring an item promoting the wine pong drinking game.

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How do you convince Auckland Transport you did have the kids in the back when they ticket you for using the T3 lane?

Paul Martin came to Fair Go with a story about competitive barbecuing, rush hour traffic and $170 fine that he didn’t deserve.

"I don’t want to pay it cause I'm not liable for it. There were three people in the vehicle. Do they not include children as people?”

Paul had been moving two gazebos for Meatstock, the competitive barbecue competition. 

Paul says he’s won prizes for his chicken with one team. Yes, barbecuing can be a team sport.

Paul had two small children secured in a car seat and capsule in the back, but between the gazebos stowed inside and the tints on his windows, you could only just glimpse one of the passengers and the transport camera guy on the roadside snapped him.

"Even at that time I thought 'I could have some trouble with this, but didn’t think to even stop because I’d block up traffic."

Paul had been busted on a Friday at 7:30am on one of the busiest side-roads in Auckland and it’s a nightmare numbers game.

Here are the facts from Auckland Transport: Onewa Rd feeds nearly 3000 cars and buses from the North Shore onto the motorways every weekday in the morning peak.

Some commuters think rules restricting who can use Onewa Rd's T3 lane don't apply to them. Source: Seven Sharp

More than two thirds of the vehicles are stuck in a regular lane crawling along at 3km per hour on average.

But two thirds of the humans moved along the road in traffic are using the T3 lane reserved for cars with three or more passengers, or buses and motorbikes. They are moving about four times faster - seven minutes of traffic for them instead of nearly half an hour for those still driving alone.

For John Strawbridge from Auckland Transport, the main drivers are keeping people moving and keeping them honest.

"There's nothing more frustrating for people that are in the correct lane seeing a single person going past in the T3 lane when they're doing the right thing. That's pretty frustrating for the public."

What Paul found frustrating was AT’s deaf ear, despite his repeated attempts to resolve things over the phone.

"They give you a bit of empathy but at the end of the day they just keep sending you reminder notices. It wasn't until I started getting them from Baycorp, threatening, that I thought ‘what's going on here?’"

Paul had sought a court hearing, but AT somehow missed that step and persisted with enforcement, passing this to the Ministry of Justice for collection.

Paul was getting hotter than one of his special barbecue sauces.

"I'm pretty angry about it to be honest, you don't seem to be able to get a chance to go forward and explain yourself."

Fair Go had a simple question for Auckland Transport – who must prove themselves? Does Paul have to show he had three on board?

John Strawbridge from AT explains: "We have to prove that they didn't have three people in the car."

Since they can’t, he says AT has decided to accept Paul’s word for it and waive the fine. It didn’t help that AT had slipped up and didn’t handle the request for a court hearing.

Tinted windows didn’t help either, but AT hopes new cameras it is testing will soon be able to peer through tints into cars.

So, be warned. If that’s a pet dog or a dummy you dressed up and strapped in the back, so you can fake your carpooling, you will be found out!

Paul Martin came to Fair Go with a story about a $170 fine that he didn’t deserve. Source: Fair Go

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Jacinda Ardern dismisses suggestion that increased fuel prices are beneficial for environment

Jacinda Ardern has dismissed suggestions that increased fuel prices are beneficial when it comes to reducing climate change, saying the increase has been too jarring for Kiwis.

Ms Ardern admitted it had been raised with her that New Zealanders paying more at the pump was a positive from an environmental point-of-view after an international report which showed we’re not acting quickly enough.

Nearly 90 scientists from 39 countries, including New Zealand, have spent three years on a planet saving plan, one that requires drastic action. Source: 1 NEWS

She said her Government had spoken about a "just" transition to a more environmentally friendly economy and a 40 cent increase in fuel prices in the last year was too jarring.

“That means for us, to be able to transition our economy and the way we work day-to-day in such a way that it isn’t jarring for consumers and employees whose jobs might change as a result of climate change,” she said.

“That’s hard on families and that’s why we’re digging in to see what’s going on behind some of those changes.”

“That’s why we are changing the law this week and next to allow the Commerce Commission to go in and look at some of those issues.”

Ms Ardern said there a couple of key points if New Zealand was to transition to a more environmentally friendly way, sustainably. 

“One of the key things is public transport alternatives, which is actually what the regional fuel tax is going into, so people have that option

“The second thing we need to do is make sure that the alternative fleet around electric vehicles is more accessible, the price point at the moment, we can’t expect families to be able to afford the price point for a number of our electric vehicles.”

She said making the Crown fleet exclusively e-vehicles meant there was more second-hand options available in the market “because ultimately an e-vehicle is the equivalent of about 30 cents a litre”.

Jacinda Ardern says the government is trying to make the transition to a more environmentally friendly economy just and the rapidly increasing fuel prices have been too jarring. Source: Breakfast

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Air NZ aiming to bring 'autonomous electric air taxis' to New Zealand

Everyday flight could soon become a reality for Kiwis after Air New Zealand announced it will be collaborating with the world's first autonomous electric air taxi, the airline and Zephyr Airworks said in a joint statement today.

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon says the airline is committed to embracing new technologies making life easier, as well as the potential for cleaner energy options for travel.

"Both companies see the potential for our airspace to free people from the constraints of traffic and its associated social, economic and environmental impacts," Mr Luxon said.

Air New Zealand announced it will be collaborating with the world's first autonomous electric air taxi, the airline and Zephyr Airworks said in a joint statement today. Source: Zephyr Airworks

"Through the development of their autonomous electric air taxi Cora, the possibility of getting from A to B quickly and safely, and also relieving the impact of polluting emissions, is very real indeed."

Zephyr Airworks CEO Fred Reid says the company is delighted to be fostering a close relationship with the national carrier to "make sure everyday flight becomes a reality for people around the world".

"One day, everyday people across the globe will be able to use Cora to bring flight into their lives. While we are not at that point yet, we are showing people what is possible. That is why we are excited to be drawing on Air New Zealand's wealth of operational expertise in the New Zealand market," Mr Reid said.

"We are applying everything that revolutionised the world of communications to transport – we are showing people what is possible. There is also the long-term economic and environmental advantages that will benefit future generations."

They’ve teamed up with Zephyr Airworks for the project. Source: 1 NEWS


'Almost certain that he is going to be suspended from caucus' – crunch time as National MP Jami-Lee Ross' fate to be decided today

Political drama peaked yesterday as National MP Jami-Lee Ross was identified as the leaker of a report into Simon Bridges' travel expenses.

Mr Ross sent out a flurry of tweets just minutes before National Party leader Simon Bridges made the announcement, and now today's caucus will decide Mr Ross' fate.

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay spoke to TVNZ's Breakfast this morning about the National Party's political turmoil and what can be expected at caucus.

"It was extraordinary yesterday. When those series of tweets came out just six minutes before Simon Bridges was set to make the announcement, I think there was an audible gasp in the press gallery here," Mutch McKay said.

"Just, what he was revealing and what he was alleging just added a whole new layer into this mix."

Mutch McKay says today is "crunch time" as caucus meets later this morning.

"That's when his caucus colleagues will decide his fate, and there are lots of options for how this could play out. Jami-Lee Ross could dig in his heels, he could put up a fight and he could decide to stay on as an independent MP.

"It's almost certain that he is going to be suspended from caucus this morning and then expelled from the party over time."

Mutch McKay said if Mr Ross "decides to go quietly", he may choose to resign from parliament, prompting a by-election.

"Because Simon Bridges is so against this, he's not going to do that for Jami-Lee Ross in this instance, even though, perhaps, he would like to, so a lot of very interesting things at play here."

However, she says Mr Ross' political career is unlikely to survive in the National Party.

"By sending out those tweets, that basically seals his fate. His National colleagues will no doubt come out and suspend him today.

"Simon Bridges yesterday, in a press conference, said, 'Look, suspension is likely,' bearing in mind that it is a caucus decision. But he didn't come out really strongly saying, 'That’s definitely what I'm going to do', so it will be up to caucus to decide, but that's definitely the hint that we're getting from Simon Bridges and behind the scenes as well."

Mutch McKay said the incident came about after a recent falling out between Mr Ross and Mr Bridges.

"I don't think there was any secret about that - in fact, Jami-Lee Ross mentioned that in his tweet. And when he was the party whip – now, the party whip is the person who’s in charge of managing the MPs, if you like – they have a lot of information, they're in this circle, all of that and Jami-Lee Ross has decided to come out and use some of that.

"Now, there's Jami-Lee Ross saying one thing, Simon Bridges saying the other - both denying the allegations that either one has made - so it's an absolutely messy situation for the [National] Party, and not one that they want to be in. And on top of that, the issues of leadership for Simon Bridges, and it’s going to be a very busy and stressful day, you’d imagine, for the National leader."

She says the party’s political fracas "raises questions about the internal party dynamics" and Mr Bridges' leadership in the National Party.

"Now, Simon Bridges is very adamant that he has the full support of the party – this is one person acting alone, and that's certainly been the message that a lot of those senior MPs have been saying publicly as well, but it raises the question and it also brings questions about whether his leadership is so secure. He needs to take a stand today – it's a big day for his leadership today, and he will be tested and judged on that, and we'll see the outcome of that in the next few days."

1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay spoke to Breakfast about National’s political turmoil and today’s caucus meeting. Source: Breakfast