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No one thinks problems with alcohol related harm can be sorted overnight, but a group of dedicated organisations, including Franklin District Council and Franklin Safer Community Council, are making things happen. Through the Waiuku Alcohol Related Harm Project (WAP) the two organisations can ensure that what they do is linked in with the initiatives of others working to reduce alcohol related harm in Waiuku.
The WAP started in 2003 as a result of the Regional Alcohol Project. Since then the WAP participants have started many positive initiatives including the Waiuku Families website and a number of youth activities. Franklin District Council and Franklin Safer Community Council have organised for Celia Lashlie and Norm Hewitt to visit the town where they have spoken at public events, local schools and to management at the Steel Mill. Franklin District Council has also been working alongside Police in the area of road safety and drink driving and forming a Franklin Alcohol Strategy.
“We are beginning to see a change in attitudes and statistics when it comes to violence and injury due to excessive alcohol in Waiuku which is very encouraging. The Police mentioned in our last meeting that local businesses have improved in ensuring that alcohol is not sold to underage purchasers. However there is still a problem with parents, family and friends purchasing alcohol for young people who are underage. Remember it takes a village to raise a child and we all have to work together to stop the harm excessive alcohol can create,” says Franklin District Councillor and Waiuku/Awhitu Ward Representative, Dan Lynch.
The WAP is hosted by Alcohol Healthwatch and is funded by the Ministry of Health. Members include the New Zealand Police, Marama Hou Ministries, Work and Income, Maori Wardens, Family and Community Services, Counties Manukau Sport, Franklin Safer Community Council, Franklin District Council and the local Waiuku/Awhitu Community Board along with others.