Campaign on booze starts

A new in-your-face campaign reminds young revellers in the Nelson region to "Know Your Limit".

The project aims to reduce alcohol-related harm in the 18 to 25-year-old age group.

It was launched yesterday by the Nelson Tasman Regional Alcohol Accord.

Posters and billboards will be put up around the region and a 30-second advertisement reminding people to "Know Your Limit" will play at Nelson's State Cinema before movie screening until March. Fridge magnets and beer coasters aimed at those who host parties or pre-load at home will also be given out.

Alcohol Accord spokesman Ron Taylor said aspects of the campaign were quite confrontational and spoke of "puking over yourself" or "getting the crap kicked out of you".

However, they were a reflection of what could and did happen in the early hours of the weekend when things went wrong.

"The campaign's clear message is ‘to party is cool but to cross the line is just plain dumb' and reminds revellers to eat food, drink water, stick with mates and get home safe," Mr Taylor said.

The Alcohol Accord has representatives from the Nelson city and Tasman district councils, the police, ACC, the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and the Hospitality Association.

The awareness-raising and educational campaign came out of a workshop earlier this year to come up with ways to tackle the higher-than-average levels of intoxication and disorder in Nelson city.

Mr Taylor said the campaign would complement work already under way through initiatives like Mellow Yellow, The Protocol, Street Ambassadors and police enforcement.

It was the first time such a targeted campaign had been tried in New Zealand, and Nelson was leading the way, Mr Taylor said.

The group was keen to hear feedback on the campaign as it wanted to take the initiative further next year.

Nelson City Council's team leader of social development Marg Parfitt said the campaign was a New Zealand first and they already had other places around New Zealand asking to use it.

It was only phase one of the campaign and it wanted to get more funding to look at ways to get the message across using approaches like social media.

ACC's Mark Preston-Thomas said alcohol-related injuries kept ACC busy and provided 20 per cent of ACC claims.

He said work had been done to reduce alcohol-related harm with licensees around the sale of alcohol, and campaigns had been done with door staff.

But a gap had remained with people who were consuming alcohol and crossing the line by getting intoxicated or arriving in town already pre-loaded. This campaign would address that gap.

Tasman district police commander Superintendent Richard Chambers said police had taken a pro-active approach to policing alcohol in Nelson and Tasman over the past few months and progress had been made.

Since July 1 public place violence had gone down 12 per cent.