New Zealanders take the pledge against binge drinking

By Amelia Wade

Daley Tapa and Jazz Rowland. Photo / Greg Bowker
Daley Tapa and Jazz Rowland. Photo / Greg Bowker

More than 150 people have signed on to be sober for three months since the local launch of an online campaign to combat binge drinking.

Hello Sunday Morning was launched in New Zealand yesterday and its founder has been overwhelmed with the response.

The programme encourages people to give up drink for a time and blog about their experiences.

"We weren't expecting such an amazing response so quickly," said founder Chris Raine last night.

In the past 24 hours, 150 people had signed up to commit to a teetotal period through the programme.

One was a person who joined the website yesterday, saying the launch of Hello Sunday Morning here had given her the opportunity to make a commitment to stop drinking.

"I've been having a few wines every night for the past eight years (okay, so maybe more than a few on some nights ...

okay, more than a few almost every night!!)," she wrote on the website.

"I would hate to think of the repercussions on my health, never mind the amount of money I have literally pissed up the wall. And then there is the example I have been setting for my two children. I always feel severely disappointed in myself when I think of that one."

The person, who remained anonymous, said blogging about her experience gave her a sense of obligation to stick to the programme.

"It's so easy to say on Monday that this is the week I will not drink for a month and by Tuesday I'm back on the wine. I want to do this to prove to myself that I can and to remind myself how good it feels to wake up each day with a clear head."

Mr Raine said such responses were incredibly encouraging. His aim was to get 2000 to sign up to the programme.

Last night, 37 per cent of the 12,750 people who took an online poll on the Herald website agreed three months without drink would be "easy as pie" and that they could do it.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) said they could do it, but they didn't want to while 3 per cent admitted they didn't think they could do it.

Mr Raine has enlisted a line-up of well-known Kiwi faces, including comedian Dai Henwood, student army leader Sam Johnson, Michele A'Court and Mikey Havoc, to spread the word and encourage people to commit. Yesterday, he and others jumped off Auckland Harbour Bridge to prove they could do something crazy without drinking.

ON THE WEB

www.hellosundaymorning.com.au

- NZ Herald

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