All “sugary drinks” will be banned from Nelson City Council venues and events, the first time a council in New Zealand has imposed such a ban.
Nelson mayor Rachel Reese made the announcement at the Local Government national conference, held in Nelson over the weekend. The sugar-free drinks policy means that all venues like Riverside Pool, Founders and the council buildings will be free of sugary drinks. As will events it manages, like the masked parade, Ecofest, Opera in the Park and Isel in Bloom.
Nelson City Council is the first council in the country to implement a sugar-free drinks policy and comes months after the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board became the first health board in the country to do the same. Rachel says type two diabetes, childhood obesity and dental disease are major issues in New Zealand, and have a significant impact on our community. “It is now widely recognised by health professionals that sugary drinks are one of the major contributors to the problem, and that reducing consumption and helping our young people to make better choices is a key strategy for improving health outcomes,” she says.
To help drive the message home, the council is partnering with Nelmac and the district health board to provide free water, via a giant water tanker, at all council events.