Catch up on shows with The Coast On Demand
Monday, May 14, 2012
Sunday morning is often a wasteland for New Zealanders, thanks to too much alcohol the night before. One in six here, has a potentially hazardous drinking pattern and a new campaign is hoping to help make NZ weekends more productive and enjoyable.
Hello Sunday Morning, encourages people to give up the drink for a period of time and blog about their experiences.
"New Zealanders have a real problem with alcohol, it's so ingrained in our culture, to go out and get drunk on a Saturday night ... we're just hoping to change that attitude towards drinking," said Jazz Rowland, an ambassador of the programme.Ms Rowland, from Wellington, decided to give up alcohol for three months and was amazed by how much better she felt and how much more she got out of the weekend.
"Sunday is one of our biggest untapped resources, it's usually spent on the couch or not doing much because you're hungover. It's amazing what you can get done."
Hello Sunday was founded in Australia by Chris Raine in 2009. Mr Raine started the project when he decided to give up drinking for a while to see how he would feel, then wrote about it on the internet, which inspired others to follow his path.
More than 3500 people worldwide are now involved, including 370 New Zealanders.
One of those, comedian Dai Henwood who is on the home-stretch of his dry three months, with just four weeks to go.
"It's quite a feat, but it's a bit weird when you realise how much of a feat it is - you shouldn't think that taking three months off drinking is so hard."
Henwood said he wanted to take some time off the booze as an experiment and stumbled aross the programme online.Blogging about it helped him stick to his sober goals, because it was a support system and he didn't not want to let others down.
Hello Sunday Morning reckons around 63 per cent of those doing the programme have achieved all their goals with a further 33 per cent achieving some of them.
The average person who quits drinking for 12 weeks saves more than $1200, the programme's website says.
Alcohol Advisory Council acting chief executive Dr Andrew Hearn said: "The initiative supports people who choose to take time out to reflect on the role of alcohol in their lives and encourages them to take control of their lives."
BAD BOOZE HABITS IN NZ
* One in six people aged over 15 has a potentially hazardous drinking pattern.
* Three in five drinkers consumed more than recommended guidelines for a single drinking occasion at least once during 2008.
* Between 600 and 1000 people are estimated to die each year from alcohol-related causes.
* Police estimate approximately one-third of all apprehensions involve alcohol.
* Harmful alcohol use was estimated to cost New Zealand $4.9 billion in 2005 and 2006.
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