Posts Tagged ‘Healthists’


Vote Beer

May 20, 2010

I was looking on the Treasury website this afternoon for Budget 2010 documents and came across the appropriation for Vote Racing. After my initial thoughts of ‘why the hell are we spending public money propping up the Racing industry?’ I had the brilliant idea – why not also steal use some public money for Beer!?! Naturally, I would become Minister of Beer and this would be my 2010 appropriation for Vote Beer:

  • $250,000 for research project into viability of nuclear-powered, chilled tanker to ship cheap and fresh Budvar from the Czech Republic to New Zealand.
  • $10,000 to lock up Doug Sellman and other Healthists in a beige room and be fed nothing but strained peas to a soundtrack of Enya as suggested by Eric at Offsetting Behaviour.
  • $20 to implement new excise rate on all alcohol of $0.00 per Litre.
  • $50,000 for Social Networking initiatives to promote Epic beer.
  • $2,000,000 for compulsory Home Brewing courses at all Tertiary Institutions.
  • $700,000 to promote voluntary malt quota of 100% amongst mainstream brewers. Catch phrases include: ‘All Malt: Yeah Right’; ‘Less Advertising , More Malt’.
  • $1,000 for all-grain Home Brew set-up for the Minister of Beer.



The Christmas Spirit

December 18, 2009

When I first started reading this article on, I thought the Heathists had finally grown a sense of humor – but as I read on about this study published in the British Medical Journal, it became clear that they are serious (or it is very well-done satire designed to enrage bloggers like me).

Santa Claus has been accused of acting in ways that could “damage millions of lives”.

As the mythical man in red zooms around the planet delivering gifts, he is an unwitting promoter of obesity, unhealthy products, disease and even drink driving, according to an Australian academic.

Read the whole thing and weep.

Update: Eric @ Offsetting Behaviour has a response from the author – it is indeed tounge-in-cheek.

Hat tip for today’s clip: The Malthouse Blog


Im in yr tweet, saving u from yr beerz

November 15, 2009

Oh good, the Marsden Fund have awarded $864k to someone to ‘research’ Facebook, Twitter and the like looking for teens boasting about having fun getting boozed. Unlike other useless research projects that simply get ignored once the cash has been spent – this one is likely to be used to justify taking more taxpayers money for social engineering advertisements aimed at teens like those we’ve seen with tobacco – no doubt with a social networking slant – ‘Geoffrey Palmer has sent you a shandy – it’s cool to drink watered down beer!’

I’m not against social pressure being exerted on drunken idiots but I’ll be damned if they start treating my beloved beer like tobacco! And here’s a newsflash for the Healthists – teens actually do not want you on Facebook and Twitter finger-wagging and ruining their fun! While I dislike the big brewers because they spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising while making shite beer, I pretty much believe teens are going to drink exactly how much they want to anyway – it just may be that they drink more of brand x than brand y. So while I ignore the big brewers, I’ll soon get to spend my tax saving ‘vulnerable’ younger New Zealanders who obviously can’t think for themselves.

Some other Sunday links about wowsers:

  • Eric Crampton @ Offsetting Behaviour has a post titled The new tobacco covering ‘charitable’ anti-alcohol lobbying.
  • David Farrar @ Kiwiblog covers the drinking age once again being falsely touted as a silver bullet.
  • covers the argy bargy between Supermarkets and the Law Commission over the release of alcohol sales data (in order to investigate minimum alcohol pricing). I hold the big two supermarket chains in NZ in similar regard to the big brewers but the correct response in this situation is indeed to tell the Law Commission to suck eggs.



October Beer Roundup

October 20, 2009

The Nelson Mail has followed the Marlborough Express and looks to have started a regular beer column. I don’t have the details from the actual paper but I’m told Fritz and Maria’s beer column will appear fortnightly. Their first article covers two local brews including Founder’s excellent Show Hopper which I mentioned in my last blog post.

The incredibly popular and hoppy Epic Armageddon has finally made it to Nelson – I was starting to think it would never happen but it’s now at Fresh Choice Collingwood St – $10.99 for a 500ml bottle. Pick up one (or three like me) to supply your end-of-the-world bomb shelter.

In more depressing news, last week I was sent a New Scientist article on the World Health Organization launching a war on alcohol. I was too lazy to blog about it but Eric Crampton gives a good overview on his blog – Offsetting Behaviour. Whoever thought they might be content with tobacco control were wrong – there is probably no limit to what these people will target in their quest to save us from ourselves and they need to be stopped.

Eric also succinctly covers the fun-spoiling ‘healthists’ in this opinion piece from the NZ Herald. My fear is that there are far more interfering healthists in the world than rational Economists.

Update: It’s like beer Christmas here in Nelson. Another one of my beer wants has just today arrived at Fresh Choice – Yeastie Boys ‘His Majesty’. A New World IPA in an appropriately regal-looking 750ml bottle. I’m looking forward to tasting the NZ hops but throwing back the 3.8 standard drinks in it probably isn’t recommended when your wife could go into labour at any moment.


Beers of our Lives

July 30, 2009

The Law Commission have now released their review of the Regulatory Framework for the Sale and Supply of Liquor – titled Alcohol In Our Lives. The full 279 page report is here.

I’ve had a bit of a read and looking at the press release talking points, things don’t look too bad – probably because they don’t mention excise increases. They instead mention a possible ‘tax reduction’ for low alcohol beers, though increases are discussed in the full report.

Looking at the following graph, you can see that beer consumption has been in steady decline since the mid-eighties, only starting to pick up a little in the last year – no doubt driven by the increasing popularity of craft and ‘premuim’ beer as regular sales have been flat.


The next graph shows the alcohol content of beer consumed – you can see the effect of the increasing popularity of ‘premium’ beers at 5% abv over traditional NZ beer at 4%. The Law Commission tend to want to make a bigger deal out of this than required by referring to the increase in consumption of higher alcohol beer several times. The growth is in 5% beer – 1 percent higher than average and the norm in most of the world. God knows what they think of wine at 13%.


Anyway, this doesn’t indicate that people are looking to get more wasted – on the contrary it shows that people are becoming more interested in nicer, global beer styles and probably picking quality over quantity. So it is odd that they see a progressive excise tax to encourage the consumption of lower abv beer as a positive solution in this context. People are voluntary choosing to buy more expensive alcohol so why interfere with this?

Have a look at the report yourself. They’re encouraging public feedback via their forum