Newshub-Reid Research poll: Where New Zealanders stand on banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport

Calls to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport have left New Zealanders split down the middle.

The results from our Newshub-Reid Research poll show just how contentious an issue it is - at a time when a Bill to end the practice is making its way through the Parliament.

Alcohol companies sponsor some of our biggest sports teams. Steinlager's backed the All Blacks for more than three decades. Asahi is a partner of New Zealand Cricket, and for Canterbury Rugby sponsorship from Monteiths is a mainstay.

"We're charged with delivering a community game… so it enables us to continue our reach into the young men and women of society," said Canterbury Rugby CEO Tony Smail.

But all of that could be on the line with Chlöe Swarbrick's Member's Bill currently going through Parliament which would ban all alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport.

And even the Government is considering eventually doing the same.

"We can't just switch it off overnight, it would do too much damage to those sports clubs," said Sports Minister Grant Robertson.

National is not interested.

"We're comfortable with the rules as they are," said leader Christopher Luxon.

But one of our Black Ferns reckons it could be time to korero.

"I think it would be probably something that people should consider," Charmaine McMenamin said.

And it turns out, New Zealanders are locked in a tug of war when it comes to where they stand.

In our Newshub-Reid Research poll we asked "should alcohol advertising and sponsorship in sport be banned?"

  • 44 percent said yes it should be banned
  • 44.3 percent said no
  • The rest didn't know

"I think there is an appetite there, the way in which we do it will be critical," said Justice Minister Kiri Allan.

"We'll evolve, we're part of society, whatever way that goes we'll go with it," Smail said.

A large chunk of this conversation is around the significant amount of cash alcohol sponsorship generates for sports clubs and teams, but there hasn't been an estimate done on that significant amount of cash since 2015.

So with the public split, it might be time to get that money on paper to help make minds up.