Improvements needed in the Crown Entities Reform Bill

Press Release – Distilled Spirits Association Of NZ Inc

The Government is being urged to tighten the spending powers of its new public health organisation, the Health Promotion Agency (HPA).Media Release 15 February 2012

Improvements needed in the Crown Entities Reform Bill – Distilled Spirits Association

The Government is being urged to tighten the spending powers of its new public health organisation, the Health Promotion Agency (HPA).

The Crown Entities Reform Bill before Parliament will create the new super agency to take over the role of the Alcohol Advisory Council, the Health Sponsorship Council and various functions within the Ministry of Health.

Distilled Spirits Association Chief Executive Thomas Chin says the creation of the HPA is a positive step that will potentially create efficiencies through more effective co-ordination of public health promotion.

“As the substantive funders of the HPA, the members of the Distilled Spirits Association are concerned by the broad mandate the agency will have to provide grants to any organisation engaged in any activity in any field with which it is concerned.

“There have been occasions in the past when some community groups and service delivery organisations have used public monies to lobby Government on health related issues. We believe that HPA funds should be used for health promotion activities only and not for public advocacy. The State should not raise funds to lobby itself.”

The $13 million a year paid by alcohol beverage producers and importers to fund ALAC’s promotion of responsible alcohol consumption will be transferred to the HPA.

“The Association firmly believes that this level of funding warrants the appointment to the HPA board of one person with business knowledge.”

The legislation provides for the HPA to have five or seven directors.

“A person with industry or commercial understanding will not dominate the board but their experience is likely to help ensure the focus of health promotions reflect the realities of the commercial environment and therefore increase their likelihood of success.”

The Association, representing the brand holders, importers, manufacturers and distributors of major spirits brands, today presented its submissions to the Government Administration Select Committee sitting in Wellington.
ENDS

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