It's time for New Conservative Leader Helen Houghton to bring a personal, historical battle to light.
Due to family breakdown, Helen started drinking alcohol at age 14 and by 16, was in the spiraling habit of late bar sessions and consumption of spirits.
Now, living free from addictions is the motivation to want tighter restrictions on the marketing of alcohol.
NZ has social issues that are exacerbated by the overconsumption of alcohol.
Marketing alcohol as a fun time while relationships are destroyed is irresponsible consumerism that continues to harm society. This impact for many NZ people includes an inability to take personal responsibility for their lives and increases costs to society and the health sector. No one family is immune from the effects of substance abuse.
As a party, New Conservative sees targeting the advertising that normalises excessive alcohol consumption as a tool to help those battling addiction.
As a party, our foundation principles are to strengthen families, and when society has strong families, children have better outcomes.
The effects of substance abuse and alcohol addiction reaches into all social stratas. New Zealand's abuse of alcohol has dire consequences, destroying families, causing mental health stresses, child abuse, poverty, homelessness, and even incarceration. Many statistics can be cited - but I have a personal story of the negative impacts of addiction. The pain of that time drives me in my quest for political success for New Conservative. It is in my mind when crafting policy that strengthens our communities.
Women's Refuge stats cite alcohol abuse as a root cause of family violence, and the marketing surrounding alcohol use adds pressure to families in crisis.
Sexual abuse, crime, and unemployment can be linked to reliance on alcohol.
In a recent news article, alcohol has been called the most harmful drug, with about 80% of New Zealanders over the age of 14 being regular drinkers, with an increase in marketing that is hardly surprising but highly alarming. The recent court case of two brothers in ChCh highlighted the vulnerability of women and perpetrators' use of alcohol to commit heinous crimes, and there are many accounts where alcohol has played a part in the sexual abuse of women and men.
To help our communities build strong, stable families, keeping people connected and cared for, give your vote to New Conservatives. NC differs from all other parties because our policies are centered on the desire to rebuild a society that values family. Strong families are the foundation of a healthy society. That includes protection from over-liberal social change that undermines our health by not regulating substances that have shown clear research of harm.
NC would call for tighter restrictions on the availability of alcohol under the Marketing Act. The outcome would mean fewer family breakups and fewer violent crimes. Results from an alcohol management plan in the Australian Northern territory show that while they were struggling with high rates of domestic violence, after putting the plan in place, it was effective in reducing assaults from 260 in January to 170 in April and curbing violence in the home.
Further, our Law-and-order policies aim to refocus the justice system on making New Zealanders safe again in our homes, businesses, and streets.
The solution for a healthy community and family strengthening is to invest in the family, and NC Family Builder's flagship policy will achieve that. NC also would provide funds for couples to have pre-marital counseling sessions.
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