Young People to Have Their Say on Alcohol

7 March 2013

Young people will get their chance to have a say on the role of alcohol in Wellington at a workshop to be held on Saturday 23 March.

The Wellington Youth Council and Link (the Boys’ and Girls’ Institute’s leadership group) are inviting young people (under 25) living in Wellington to come along.

The two groups have teamed up to facilitate the workshop, under the banner of Have your SAY - Society, Alcohol and Young people, and are actively promoting the issues.

Is youth drinking really the problem? So they are told, over and over: under-age drinking, binge drinking. But what is the reality?

Jack Marshall, Chair of the Wellington Youth Council, says that blaming young people is passing the buck.

"Alcohol causes huge problems in society and young people are unfairly branded as culprits. These problems are bigger than us."

Link spokesperson Merinda Jackson agrees. "Everyone is affected by alcohol, so everyone should have their say. This is an opportunity for us to feed into Wellington City Council's alcohol strategy, to have a collective voice and opinions that will be heard and valued in local decision-making.”

The workshop is for youth, by youth, and aims to develop an accurate youth perspective on good drinking and bad drinking in Wellington, so that young people can have their say.

Wellington City Council is in the process of asking all Wellingtonians for their views on the role of alcohol in the city, before drafting a local alcohol policy and an alcohol management strategy. The strategy will take a wider view on managing alcohol-related behaviour and things like sponsorship of Wellington events such as ‘Jim Beam Homegrown’.

Jack appeals to young people to join the debate and share their ideas.

"The ball is in our court. We can identify what is important and why, what this strategy should cover and offer Wellingtonians the chance to make sure the city is safe and enjoyable for everyone."

The workshop will be held between 1.30 and 4.30pm, Saturday 23 March, Te Papa (Icon Room).