How can we reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm on our marae and in our community?
Marae are used for a variety of events and activities. Hui, tangihanga and celebrations are common, but many marae also house hauora clinics, kohanga and kura. This provides marae with an opportunity to influence positive health behaviours and change. Choosing to be an alcohol-free marae is a positive step that will benefit everyone who comes on to your marae.
More and more of our marae are choosing to be alcohol-free and are adopting policies to uphold this kaupapa. To be successful, it’s important that this expectation is clear to anyone who uses or hires the marae.
Most marae are governed by a marae committee. It’s important that any decisions are made by the committee and communicated to the rest of the hapū, and any groups who hire or use the facilities. If bookings are made through a specific committee member, they can let any guests know your marae is alcohol-free. It can also be included in the written rules set out for hiring the marae. Making it clear on your marae website or Facebook page is another great way to let people know that your marae puts whānau and hapū first, and is a safe space for everyone to enjoy.
Check out the Hapū Hauora Whakakore Waipiro Policy or contact the Hapū Hauora Kaupapa Lead for support for your marae to be alcohol free.
Every week, hapū around Aotearoa host events that bring whānau, hapū and the wider community together. More frequently we are seeing these events becoming alcohol free, because they remove potential issues simply by having no alcohol available. Other benefits of running alcohol-free events are:
• your event is easier to manage without the effects of alcohol on anyone participating/watching
• you can focus on the positive kaupapa of the event
• everyone is there for the same reason
• you’re unlikely to have to deal with any drunkenness or disorderly behaviour.
If you are hosting an event that is alcohol free, why not sing it from the rooftops and let everyone know? Whānau are always looking for environments that support wellbeing and provide a safe space to attend as a family. So if you’re planning an event, don’t be afraid to promote the event as being alcohol free. To help with this, you’ll find existing signage available to download here or you could run a competition for the creative rangatahi at the marae to put something together especially for your event or marae. There are no hard or fast rules, but make it eye-catching and to the point!
Check out the Hapū Hauora Whakakore Waipiro Policy which includes making hapū events alcohol free or contact the Hapū Hauora Kaupapa Lead for more support.
Being a responsible host is an important alternative for marae that choose not to be alcohol free. Manaakitanga is a cornerstone of tikanga Māori and being responsible hosts aligns with that whakaaro. There are a number of things that marae can do to ensure that whānau and friends who use the marae enjoy themselves and stay safe if drinking alcohol.
If your marae is available for hire, it is important that your expectations are made clear to anyone who uses your facilities. This may mean you have the above guidelines on display in the wharekai, or included in any emails sent between you and the person hiring the marae. See below for some helpful tips to ensure you host responsibly.
When someone wants to sell alcohol, whether it’s from a pub, bottle shop, or a sports event, they need an alcohol licence from their local council. If this licence will directly affect you, or the people you represent, you may have what is called a ‘greater interest’ and be able to object to the licence application. Examples of people with a greater interest could be the chairperson of the local marae committee, the tumuaki of a nearby kura, a drug and alcohol counsellor in the neighbourhood, or a person who lives close to the business requesting the licence. If you’re unsure, you can contact the local licensing inspector at your local council and discuss your concerns with them.
There are some rules around objecting to an alcohol licence application, and you can find more information on the criteria here.
There is no cost for objecting to an alcohol licence application, and no special form that needs to be filled in. You just need to write a letter to the local District Licensing Committee (DLC) explaining who you are, why you have a greater interest in the licence, and the reasons why you are objecting. The Committee will need you to provide evidence supporting your objection.
You only have 15 working days from the license application being advertised to object, so your letter should get to the DLC before this time is up.
If a DLC hearing is called, you may need to appear and speak about your objection. If you can’t attend, your objection may not be considered as carefully, or at all.
If you do not want to object to a licence yourself, you can still contact your council to discuss your concerns.
For full details on how to object, these links provide more information:
There are lots of ways you can be involved in how alcohol is supplied in your community. Getting involved in community events and asking for spaces free from alcohol is gaining momentum throughout Aotearoa. Alcohol introduces a higher degree of risk, because it affects people in different ways. The easiest way to remove the risk, is to have an alcohol free event. Next time your kura or local club are planning a community event, check in with the organisers about having a whānau-friendly alcohol-free event, where everyone can enjoy themselves in a safe and enjoyable environment.
Remember, it’s your community and you can have a say in how alcohol is used and accessed.
Many of whānau are not aware of how much they drink, or the impact their drinking can have on others. Other than being alcohol-free, understanding and reducing the risks is one step we can all take to ensure that if we are having an alcoholic drink, we’re doing so in the safest way possible.
• Understanding how much we drink is a good tool in knowing when we’ve had enough. Many of us don’t really understand how much alcohol is in a standard drink. The standard drink measure is a simple way for you to work out how much alcohol you are drinking. To learn more about what’s in your glass, the Health Promotion Agency have some interactive tools to test your knowledge.
• Alcohol features highly as a factor in road traffic incidents throughout Aotearoa. The safest way to ensure you’re under the limit for driving is to not drink at all. If you are drinking, avoid the risk of knowing whether you’re over or under the limit, and don’t drive after consuming any alcohol.
• Because young people are still developing well into their twenties, they are especially sensitive to alcohol. The best way to safeguard rangatahi against the effects of alcohol is to delay any experiences with it. There is information for parents to support these kind of conversations with your tamaiti.
Mā te iti, ka rahi - Less is better