Petition for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages

Petition for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages

20 March 2016
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This petition had 9,498 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by Healthy Food Guide

To Parliament:

We the undersigned respectfully petition you to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages as a means to help combat the increase of obesity, type 2 diabetes, dental and other health issues in New Zealand. We further petition you to use the monies gathered from such a tax to promote health and nutrition education in New Zealand.

New Zealand has a problem. We are the third fattest nation in the OECD. And we are getting fatter. 1.3 million Kiwis are obese. Our children are getting fatter. This problem is costing us all, and will continue to cost more as it grows.

We are an alliance of concerned organisations and individuals who all work to help New Zealanders get healthier. We would like the New Zealand Government to implement a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). We would like the revenue generated by the tax to be ring-fenced and channelled into education initiatives about healthy eating and nutrition.

We realise this is not a magic solution to the obesity problem. This needs to be one of a suite of initiatives undertaken together with other measures, including education programmes; action on healthy food in schools; controls on advertising of unhealthy foods to children and community-based eating and activity initiatives. Some of this is already happening.

We believe a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages is one simple thing that could make a big difference.

There is existing evidence that a tax reduces consumption. There is abundant evidence that sugary drinks contribute to weight gain and obesity, as well as other health issues such as dental decay in our children and type 2 diabetes.

A tax on SSBs has been recommended by many diverse public health bodies and organisations both here and internationally, including the World Health Organization; The New Zealand Medical Association; the International Network for Food and Obesity/NCD Research, Monitoring and Action Support; The Heart Foundation and Credit Suisse. A tax is also supported by a large number of local public health experts and medical professionals: people who see every day the impact of poor diet on New Zealanders’ health.

Now the UK Government has also announced it is going ahead with a tax on SSBs and we should too. We believe there is also growing public support in New Zealand for a tax on SSBs.

We’ve seen this issue debated and discussed for years now. While that’s happened, obesity and related health issues have kept increasing. It’s time for action and we ask that you join us in petitioning Parliament to introduce such a tax.

This petition is supported by:

  • Healthy Food Guide magazine
  • Diabetes New Zealand
  • Heart Foundation
  • Dietitians NZ
  • New Zealand Dental Association
  • Monty Betham’s Steps for Life Foundation
  • Rob Beaglehole, Principal Dental Officer, Nelson Marlborough DHB
  • Professor Tony Merriman, University of Otago
  • Professor Elaine Rush MNZM PhD, Faculty of Health and Environmental Science, Auckland University of Technology
  • Dr Wilma E Waterlander PhD – Research Fellow, NIHI, University of Auckland
  • Helen Eyles, Senior Research Fellow, NIHI, University of Auckland
  • Claire Turnbull, Nutritionist 

Principal Petitioner
Niki Bezzant
Healthy Food Guide magazine
E: | P: 09 486 0111
A: Healthy Life Media Limited, 2 Des Swann Drive, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 | PO Box 47177, Ponsonby, Auckland 1144


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This petition had 9,498 supporters

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