I'm struggling to understand why a school fundraiser - which was widely known as a wine and food festival for many years - is now battling the bureaucrats to be able to continue to sell alcohol.

There was one objection, a single complainant, over whether a Hawke's Bay school fundraiser could sell liquor.

The fundraiser is a three and a half hour food and music festival on a Friday night. It's in November. It's been held annually for more than 10 years. It used to be a food AND WINE festival.


The complainant is the Hawke's Bay District Health Board, which argues that they see too much impact of drinking and the problems associated with it coming through the doors of their emergency departments and I don't doubt that.

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But I also don't think banning alcohol at a school festival fixes that.

The DHB says the consumption of alcohol on school grounds in the presence of children is inappropriate.

But if you take that view, then every school picnic, every school event, every school fundraiser, is now in question regarding alcohol.

The view of the DHB is also that young people should not be exposed to alcohol - well try telling that to every parent in the country who sat down to dinner with a glass of wine last night. It's completely unrealistic.

Alcohol has been served around children since time immemorial.
At home, at cafes, at restaurants, at family functions, at yes... school fundraisers.

The alcohol itself is not the problem. As always, it's those drinking it.


If a parent is going to turn up and go nuts on the wines at a school festival, you can bet that parent has also done the same thing at home, and none of it will be surprising to their kids.

We are not going to be able to stop young people witnessing adults drink alcohol.
In fact ask the Europeans what they make of this sort of attitude and they'd laugh at you.

I'm no big drinker, but I do know that banning alcohol from events because you don't think serving it is a good example to children, is a bridge too far.