Applying a Sugar Tax in New Zealand

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The New Zealand Government should create an additional tax on sugary drinks. This is to counteract the negative consequences that they have, such as health damages.


NZ has the third highest proportion of overweight children in the world (developed) out of 34 other countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD), “and about 33 percent of children classified as overweight or obese in 2010.” About one-third of NZ adults are obese and our country is the third fattest nation in the world, with one in four adults having pre-diabetes. NZ also has very high rates in dental problems in children with significant costs to taxpayers. About 5000 children a year need treatment each year to remove severely decayed teeth, of which most of these problem are to do with the excess of sugar in take. Scientific evidence shows that people who eat more sugar (sucrose) are often more likely to put on weight, become diabetic and develop cardiovascular disease, compared to those who consume less sugar.


Supermarkets sell products that are loaded with sugar, especially in the form of juices, soft drinks, breakfast cereals, cakes and biscuits. “New Zealand children report eating and drinking about 17 teaspoons per of sugar, with about 25 per cent of this from sugary drinks” (NZ Herald, 2017).


There is clear evidence that shows that by putting a sugar tax on sugary drinks will involve in a massive increase in health of Kiwis, especially children. This information involves research and results from other places who have implemented sugary taxes such as Mexico, and California and Berkeley. There are currently three different proposed options for the sugar tax policy which we currently do not have. Option one is to add $1 tax per litre, $1.50 per 1.5 litres and per canned drink 355ml 35c. Option two is to tax 50c per litre 18c per 335ml can and 75c for a 1.5 litre. The third option would be a tiered tax.


As the outcome of this petition we would like the tax on sugary drinks to go towards useful benefits such as dental costs, the childhood obesity plan, or something that would benefit the health of New Zealanders to reduce the rising numbers of obesity. By signing this petition, you will help us create a social change in our society that will help our future generations tackle obesity.



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