Sugar Sweetened Beverages Policy


This policy supports the health of staff, visitors, and elected members at Nelson City Council workplaces through the provision of healthy beverage choices.


A Sugar Sweetened Beverage (SSB) is any beverage that has had calorific sweetener, usually sugar, added prior to sale. The main categories of sugary drinks include soft drinks/fizzy drinks, sachet mixes, fruit drinks, cordials, flavoured milks, cold teas/coffees, and energy/sports drinks.


There is a growing awareness of the association between free sugars and a number of health related conditions including obesity, poor dental health, and serious medical conditions such as type-2 diabetes. SSBs are recognised as being one of the leading contributors of sugar to the diets of New Zealanders .

The World Health Organisation recommends that free sugars should contribute to no more than 10% of total energy intake, equivalent to approximately 12 teaspoons of sugar per day for an average adult. Britain has recently introduced new guidelines which halve this limit to no more than 5% of total energy intake. As a guide, one can of “fizzy” drink contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.

Nelson City Council is well positioned to positively influence the health behaviours of its staff, elected representatives, and visitors, and to model good health behaviours for the wider community.

In 2014, the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board became the first Health Board in the country to implement a policy limiting access to SSBs. Nelson City Council wishes to support this important initiative in our community.


This policy is based on the following principles:

  • Nelson City Council is a role model for the community and supports initiatives that have the potential to impact positively on the health of the community.
  • Nelson City Council is a workplace which is concerned for the wellbeing of its staff and considers that it is important to create an environment that makes healthy drink choices the easier choice for not only staff, but also for elected members and visitors.

Healthy Beverage Policy

1. Nelson City Council will ensure that when providing beverages which it has purchased, only those which have not had sugar added to them at pre-point of sale will be available for consumption at the following Council workplaces:

  • Civic House
  • Nelson City Council Libraries
  • Broadgreen House.

2. This policy applies to the provision of beverages to Nelson City Council elected members, staff, visitors and volunteers including:

  • Work related meetings for staff, elected members, and visitors
  • Workshops and training events
  • Conferences and visiting speaker events
  • Council meetings for elected members and staff
  • Social functions for staff or visitors funded by Council.

3. Council managed vending machines will provide only those beverages allowed under this policy.

4. Information related to this policy including a list of healthy beverage choices and information related to why this policy has been implemented, will be available on the Nelson City Council website. Links will also be provided to relevant information including health information.

Outside of Policy Scope

This policy does not apply to hot beverages (tea, coffee or milo), beverages that are already subject to an age restriction, or to beverages that are brought from home for personal use or to share for personal celebrations.

Healthy Beverage Choices

The following beverages are accepted as alternative choices and are supported under this policy:

  • Water
  • 100% Fruit Juice
  • Unsweetened milk
  • Artificially sweetened or zero sugar soft drinks.