Alcohol-sponsored rash-shirts worn by young surfers at the latest Northland scholastics surfing competition were said to be "an oversight" by the Northland surfing association.

Multiple school-age surfers wore the rash-shirts with Lion Red branding on them at the competition held at Sandy Bay in Tutukaka earlier this month.

Northland surfing association representative Tia Lord said the competition featured more than 60 surfers, which meant resources were stretched and the rash-shirts were used.

"We used what we had on hand, it's obviously an oversight but we are in the process of getting more rash-shirts with the Northland surfing association logo on them."

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Lord encouraged people from the community to approach the association if they wanted to support or sponsor the new rash-shirts.

The rash-shirts originally came from Surfing New Zealand but a spokesperson from surfing's national body confirmed they were not given to the association but to a Northland boardrider club.

Surfing NZ confirmed the rash-shirts were made between 2004 and 2006 when Lion Red was a sponsor but now, after the sponsorship had lapsed, the national body would hand out extra rash-shirts to regional clubs and associations to prevent them from needing to buy their own.

Surfing NZ said clubs needed to ensure that rash shirts with alcohol branding are used by senior surfers only. Surfing NZ confirmed all rash-shirts were made in a medium size.

In guideline 4h of principle four of the code for advertising and promotion of alcohol, it said, "sponsors shall not require or permit sponsored parties to feature alcohol branding on children's size replica sports kit or on any promotional material distributed to minors".

Advertising Standards Authority chief executive Hilary Souter said a code breach would only be decided if a complaint was lodged with the Advertising Standards Complaints Board.