Len Brown lends support to sugar ban

KATE DAVIDSON
Last updated 12:58 22/07/2014

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Auckland super-city Mayor Len Brown is not ruling out a sugary drinks ban by the Auckland Council.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese challenged Brown to follow her example of banning all sugary beverages in council buildings and at council-run events when she spoke at the opening of the Local Government NZ conference being hosted in Nelson at the Rutherford Hotel.

Reese announced the new policy in an effort to combat tooth decay, obesity, and the risk of type two diabetes in the next generation.

Brown said his council had not had a chance to reflect on the public health proposal, but the geographic and demographic makeup of Auckland would mean "some pretty wide ranging impacts" if it chose to follow Nelson's example.

"We do have a fairly high focus around kids' health and back up the district health boards when they have focus in and around over-consumption of takeaways so we'll give some reflection to it," he said.

"I hope it works for them [the Nelson council]. No doubt other places around New Zealand will carry out that type of policy change and we will be part of the discussion going forward."

Any possible work would have to factor in schools and vendors and would need to be balanced against the city's other demands.

"That also on top of quite frankly millions of other big challenges in the city at the moment is a matter that we will consider besides those," he said.

On Sunday, Reese said water would replace sugary drinks at all Nelson City Council community events. "My focus is on the young children in our community and giving them a healthy choice."

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