Te Mana Hauora O Te Tairawhiti
16 June 2016
Hauora Tairāwhiti has put its hand up to ensure a great community event can go ahead and be drug, alcohol and smokefree.
The Gizzy International Street Food Festival and the Skate Jam competition at Alfred Cox Skate Park on Friday 1 July was in danger of being cancelled after the District Licencing Committee decided yesterday not to grant a special alcohol licence for the event. The viability of the event was dependent on sponsorship from three local wine, beer and cider producers.
To ensure this family event can go ahead Hauora Tairāwhiti has agreed to support the event by diverting health promotion funding.
Alfred Cox Skate Park is a whānau focused area, says Hauora Tairāwhiti Chief Executive Jim Green. “The values of the Skate Park are well defined and lots of work has been done to make sure it is a safe place for youth to gather. Ensuring it remains drug, alcohol and smokefree is a big part of keeping it safe. Hauora Tairāwhiti believes supporting youth to make good decisions about alcohol, drugs and smoking are an important focus of our health promotion work. We are endorsing the lead taken by users of the park to create a safe environment. That’s why along with iwi and police we opposed an exception being made for a one-off event even though we all congratulate the initiative taken by the organisers to bring this event to Gisborne.”
“We need to get alcohol back into perspective in our community so that we can minimise the very real harm it can cause. Events can be enjoyable without the need for alcohol. Instead the focus will be on celebrating the fresh food so abundant in this district.”
The focus on youth, a priority group for Hauora Tairāwhiti, in an established, safe setting, is a really good fit for the Hauora Tairāwhiti’s health promotion work says Board Chair David Scott. Previous food festivals have been well run and if we can support this community event and help maintain the kaupapa of the park – surely that is a good thing. The question that is being asked is does alcohol have any place, regardless of how well managed, in a setting where being alcohol-free is a core value?”