19 Jun 2014

Case for sugary drinks tax goes to Parliament

9:44 pm on 19 June 2014

Public health experts are taking the case for a 20 percent tax on sugary drinks to Parliament.

It is a key recommendation from the New Zealand Beverage Guidance Panel to reduce consumption and combat obesity.

Others include regulations to remove sugary drinks from schools, hospitals and prisons, and for industry to take a lead by making sugar-free drinks their flagship products.

Panel member Gerhard Sundborn says they want to make getting rid of sugary drinks into a major election issue and to change the mind of parties that oppose a tax.

Dr Sundborn said there is growing public support for getting rid of sugary drinks because of the health problems they cause.

Panel members would present their policy brief to Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia and MPs from Labour and the Green parties.