Crate Day: Emergency services on high alert

Crate Day - harmless fun or harmful pest?
Crate Day - harmless fun or harmful pest? Photo credit: Getty

Kiwis around the country will be marking the start of summer by celebrating Crate Day, but health officials want it banned.

The annual drinking event, promoted by radio station The Rock, takes place on the first Saturday of December.

On its website, The Rock says it's about "celebrating the first Saturday of summer with mates in true Kiwi style - by whacking some meat on the barbie, playing some highly competitive backyard cricket and of course, listening to The Rock's Cratest Backyard Anthems VERY LOUDLY".

A crate traditionally contains 12 745ml bottles of beer - up to 30 standard drinks.

But Nicki Jackson from Alcohol Health Watch says the campaign has done its dash.

"It's time that this campaign came to an end. It causes too much harm to individuals and to communities."

Emergency services are on high alert, and Ms Jackson says those promoting Crate Day should be made to pay them for their services.

"Start paying the bills for the emergency department admissions, the ambulance callouts, the police callouts. When are the campaign owners, the marketers, going to take responsibility for this campaign?"

She wants people to resist peer pressure.

"Don't succumb to the marketing around this campaign. It is dangerous… Stay safe, look after one another and don't drink excessively."

The Rock is owned by MediaWorks, which also owns Newshub.

Health Minister David Clark has called the event "concerning", and his predecessor Jonathan Coleman says it causes "problems".

Newshub.