A leading health expert working to reduce obesity levels among Māori is renewing a call for a tax on fizzy drinks.
The Government has again rejected calls for a 20 percent tax on soft drinks, despite new international research showing price hikes cut consumption.
Campaigners said the Government has been slow to act, and called for much tougher measures to fight obesity, which was projected to overtake smoking next year as the greatest risk to people's health.
Boyd Swinburn, an expert in nutrition and global health at the University of Auckland said there was good support among Māori for taxes on sugary drinks.
Professor Swinburn said with the price of soft drinks being cheaper than milk, it had become a real battle to encourage people to make healthy choices.
He said that was driving people to particular food choices such as fizzy drinks, but that a tax imposed on sugar-sweetened drinks would send a strong signal that they're not normal foods, promote obesity and rot teeth.
Professor Swinburn said the drinks shouldn't be portrayed as normal regular everyday foods.