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Tackling Big Booze: Price, Promotion, Primary Care and Politics

Te Weronga o ngā Kamupene Waipiro Nui: Te Utu, te Whakatairanga, te Atawhainga Tuatahi me te Tōrangapū

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Alcohol causes violence, injury, mental health problems and some cancers. Alcohol is responsible for more than 5% of premature deaths in New Zealand and costs the country more than $5billion a year.

This workshop tackles the challenge of alcohol. Price, marketing, primary care and politics are explored and workshopped with leading national and international experts. It highlights the success of alcohol harm reduction in Scotland with Scottish expert, Alison Douglas. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on action in their own spheres of influence. While we focus on the Aotearoa New Zealand context, our discussion will be situated both regionally and globally.

This workshop is co-hosted by Otago’s Health Promotion & Policy Research Unit & the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), South West Pacific Region.


Topics covered  

By the end of this course participants should have:

  • Up-to-date knowledge about the challenge of alcohol harm reduction
  • Increased knowledge and skill in promoting fiscal solutions to address inequities in alcohol harm
  • Increased knowledge and skill in reducing the impact of alcohol marketing
  • Increased knowledge and skill in addressing alcohol harm through primary care
  • Up-to-date knowledge of the local, national and global politics of alcohol harm reduction
  • Reflected on action they can take in their own sphere of influence
  • Strengthened their alcohol health promotion and policy networks.

Style of course

Seminar style teaching, photographic internet presentation, interactive discussion and workshop activity.

Who should attend?  

This course is aimed at people from New Zealand and other nations, including:

  • Policy makers from central and local government
  • NGO staff, academics and advocates
  • Health professionals.

Draft timetable

Time Session
8:30am Registration
9am Welcome  -  Professor Louise Signal
Setting the Scene - Professor Jennie Connor
Big Booze – who are they and how do they operate? - Professor Sally Casswell
Case Study from Scotland (by video) -  Alison Douglas
Implications of the Scottish experience - Professor Jennie Connor,
10:45am Morning tea
11.15am PRICE
Price in NZ  - Dr Nicki Jackson
How to defend alcohol taxes: an economic perspective (by video)  - Aveek Bhattacharya

12:30pm Lunch break

Place -  Dr Nicki Jackson & David Ratu

Kids’Cam: Children’s exposure to alcohol marketing in their everyday lives - Tim Chambers
Young People and Digital Alcohol Marketing - Professor Antonia Lyons

What should we do about marketing? - Dr Nicki Jackson

3pm Afternoon tea

A Primary Care Perspective on Reducing Harm from Alcohol - Dr John McMenamin
Primary Care from a DHB Perspective -  Counties Manukau representative
Politics Writ Large - Key speakers from the day

Future action

5pm Finish

Teaching staff  

**Exciting New Teaching Staff Announced**

Professor Sally Casswell is a Co-Director of the SHORE and Whariki Research Centre, College of Health at Massey University, New Zealand. Her research interests are in social and public health policy, particularly in relation to alcohol and other drugs. She has carried out research on the development and implementation of public policy at the national and community level and in the evaluation of these initiatives.
Dr John McMenamin is a Whanganui GP who is leading the development of primary care tools to screen and manage alcohol in primary care. He is a member of the HPA Alcohol and Pregnancy Sector Leadership group. John completed his MD thesis on Alcohol Screening in General Practice and has led the development of the ABC Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention tool. He also holds positions with MOH as National Tobacco Target Champion and with NBSP as GP and Primary Care lead for the rollout of bowel screening. John is interested in how we can learn about improving approaches to alcohol from our experience with Tobacco especially the alignment of public health and patient management.
David (Rāwiri) Rātu, Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua/Waikato-Tainui/Ngāti Maniapoto, is a New Zealand Māori warden, Deputy Chair of the Ōtara Māori Committee and company director. His involvement in reducing the harm from waipiro is extensive, via grassroots involvement in liquor licensing, his active role as Member of Tāmaki Ki Te Tonga (Counties Manukau) District Māori Council (Responsible for Treaty of Waitangi Issues/Alcohol, Drugs, and Gambling Harm Reduction) through to seeking wider policy change by registering a Treaty of Waitangi claim (WAI2575 – The Health Inquiry) seeking remedy to the prejudicial effects that are being caused, at least in part, by omissions made by the Crown in its regulation of the sale, supply and consumption of alcohol.
Professor Antonia Lyons, Victoria University Wellington. Antonia's research has explored issues around gender, health and identity; the social and cultural contexts of behaviours, particularly alcohol consumption; and the implications of dominant media representations for individual subjectivities and embodiment. Antonia led a 3-year study on drinking cultures and new technologies. She is currently co-editor of Qualitative Research in Psychology, an associate editor for Psychology and Health and co-editor of the Routledge book series (with Professor Kerry Chamberlain) 'Critical Approaches to Health'.

  • Associate Professor Louise Signal (Co-convenor) is a Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington. She is a social scientist with a PhD in public health. Louise is the principal investigator on the innovative Kids’Cam project that explores the marketing of alcohol in children’s lives through use of automated cameras worn by students aged 11-13 in both New Zealand and Tonga. Louise has expertise public health policy and politics and a growing interest in the prevention of alcohol harm.
  • Professor Jennie Connor (Co-convenor) is Chair in Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago, Dunedin. She is a public health physician and epidemiologist, with research interests in the health effects of alcohol, injury prevention, and sexual and reproductive health. She has completed two assessments of the alcohol-attributable burden of disease and injury in New Zealand. She is a medical spokesperson for Alcohol Action New Zealand, which advocates for evidence-based alcohol policy.
  • Dr Nicki Jackson (Co-convenor) is the Executive Director of Alcohol Healthwatch. She completed her PhD at Auckland University in 2016, examining the role of the socio-economic, physical and social neighbourhood environment in adolescent alcohol use. She has extensive experience in managing regulatory and health promotion aspects of alcohol-harm reduction as well a strong academic background in teaching health promotion.
  • Mr Tim Chambers is a PhD candidate in the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit at the University of Otago, Wellington. His research interests include alcohol advertising and availability in children’s environments. Tim is interested in policy approaches to prevent and reduce the burden of alcohol related harm, particularly in vulnerable sub-groups of society. His main research focus as part of the Kids’Cam team is looking at the nature and extent of children’s exposure to alcohol advertising and outlet density near schools. Tim has degrees in Physical Education and Classical Studies and has experience using visual research methods and conducting research with children. He recently completed a Fulbright Scholarship at Harvard University.
  • Ms Alison Douglas (via video link). Chief Executive, Alcohol Focus Scotland. AFS’s mission is to prevent and reduce alcohol harm by advocating for effective policy interventions at population level. Alison’s commitment to tackling alcohol harm stems from her time as Head of Alcohol Policy and Delivery at Scottish Government from 2007 to 2012. In that role she was responsible for developing and implementing Scotland’s national alcohol strategy, “Changing Scotland’s Relationship with Alcohol”, including proposals for minimum unit pricing .
  • Aveek Bhattacharya from the Institute of Alcohol Studies, London, United Kingdom. Aveek works as policy analyst at the Institute of Alcohol Studies. He holds a Master's degree in Political Theory from the University of Oxford and blogs on politics, ethics, and social issues at Social Problems Are Like Maths.

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 20 December 2017.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.

Register now