Auckland Health Service says sugar-filled snack packs making country fat

By Wepiha Te Kanawa
  • Auckland
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service says dairies are helping to make the country fat by selling sugar packed foods to kids. 
Now a plan is in place to lobby for changes to the Resource Management Act to give councils the power to stop new dairies and other stores being built. 
But who's responsible for what children buy? Lunch packs from dairies are cheap and easy to buy and for some students it's their only option.
Tania Daniels-Hopa says, “A lot of whānau do resort to these $2 packs because there’s a lot of poverty in Auckland, a lot of whānau can't afford nice lunches, healthy kai.”
Hoera Farrell-Moehurori says, “There are many Māori families and children who buy unhealthy foods, foods that aren't good for our bodies. They get fat and fatigued.”
But the Auckland Regional Public Health Service wants to limit what your local dairy sells to children.
Dr Julia Peters says, “We know a lot of parents are time poor, that they are sending their children to the tuck shop or to the local dairy that’s close to them to get their lunch because they are getting and they have to get work.”
Tania Daniels-Hopa says, “It’s not a good idea having kids come into the dairy, buying rubbish, especially these $2 packs. Look at all the sugar and calories. Not good for our tamariki.”
It's only $2 for a lunch-pack, which has a drink, chips and biscuits. 
But here at a veggie store in Glen Innes, $2 will get you a banana, an apple and a pear. But the question is, which one will children pick?
Dairies near schools are common today.  Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Puau Te Moananui-a-Kiwa has one just across the road.
Teacher, Lynley Pekepainga says, “For me, it's not about pointing the finger, it's about finding a way forward.”
Tania Daniels-Hopa says, “I support it a whole lot because I have a daughter that’s pretty big and she use to live at this shop but now that we've introduced healthy kai with her work she works all her kai off now.”
Despite a jump in obesity in New Zealand since the 70s, the Auckland Regional Public Health Service hopes to see a huge change in the next five years.