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Chloe Swarbrick proposes end to 'glamorisation' of alcohol in New Zealand sport

The days of the sport sector’s reliance on the alcohol industry for funding may soon be cut short, with Auckland Central MP Chlöe Swarbrick proposing to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship from sport in a new bill.

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The Greens MP is proposing a ban on alcohol advertising and sponsorship from sport in a new bill. Source: Q+A

It follows on from the recommendations in the 2014 Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship and would see the abolition of appeals on local authority alcohol policies, in addition to the end of alcohol branded sports teams and broadcasts.

Advertising during fixtures would also be prohibited, along with alcohol naming rights of venues.

Exemptions could be considered for multinational events.

Swarbrick says New Zealand has gone “too far down that complete free market road,” when it comes to alcohol.

“We would try and remove that tether between the glorification, the glamorisation, the normalisation of alcohol as worn on the chests of our sporting heroes,” she told Q+A’s Jack Tame.

The worth of alcohol sponsorship was last valued at $21.3m in 2015, with a Sport NZ spokesperson suggesting “current levels would not exceed” the figure.

When questioned if she had the support of her parliamentary peers, the Green MP said she “didn’t get all too much back” from Labour and NZ First in 2019, but hoped the recent NZ Drug Foundation symposium would help the cause.

A GP, National Deputy Leader Dr Shane Reti acknowledged the harm that alcohol has caused communities but wants to consult his colleagues before making comment.

Watch Swarbrick's full Q+A interview below:

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Alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport is so normalised that many of us barely consciously recognise it, but Swarbrick wants to change that. Source: Q+A