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Auckland paint party by Zeal and BUZZED – powerful partners

This guest article was written by the wonderful and talented Grace Stratton. You can check out her blog here.

BUZZED is the super cool and relatively new campaign under the umbrella of C.A.Y.A.D (Community Action for Youth, Alcohol and Drugs) and the Auckland Council, and was the main sponsor of the Zeal Paint Party in Auckland.  

Grace in her super official hi-vis vest.

BUZZED is headed up by young people in their twenties to thirties as well as a reference group that are across a spectrum of ages –  all of us are passionate about helping youth recognise the dangers of the misuse of alcohol and drugs through storytelling and social media. BUZZED brought support to the Paint Party through not only sponsorship but by also by providing young people with positive imagery of what it means to be responsible with alcohol and/or alcohol-free. 

We’d be naive to think that young people will never be or have never been exposed to the temptations of alcohol and drugs, for young teenagers on the cusp of adulthood it is alcohol that especially provides temptation, contemporary society and pop culture mostly tells young people how cool alcohol is without also educating about its possible dangers – this absence in education can easily prove to be dangerous to youth, but thankfully campaigns like BUZZED work to change all that, BUZZED helps young people feel empowered to make their own choices responsibility and provide youth with confidence to choose alternatives to the mainstream. 

In their own way this is what Zeal aims to do, empower youth, by giving them a home a place to be creative, original, accepted. Zeal is a place which gives young people confidence to blaze their own trail and make their own choices. BUZZED and Zeal’s similarities make them a dream team and a powerful collective voice of positivity for young people. At the paint party, the presence of BUZZED worked to show everyone that you can party hard, yet sober. 

Over 500 youth attended the Paint Party last weekend.

BUZZED came equipped with a chalkboard for paint party goers to write on and OVI Hydration drinks which proved mega popular, the chalkboard received a steady flow of visitors all who wrote a word on the board phrases like “hype” and “real stories” made appearances. BUZZED was able to successfully engage paint partiers in their messaging using relevant and interactive activities. When youth were finished writing on the BUZZED board, they were able to slip back into the Paint Party action, Zeal and BUZZED struck the perfect balance, they were both equally able to engage young people in their individual endeavours by investing in a common and interesting cause. 

It was a truly wonderful partnership. 

Kate Duder of BUZZED said the following when asked what she thought about Friday’s party: “A unique experience for young people, ZEAL’s Paint Party was very well managed and an awesome alcohol-free event. One of many I hope will help steer culture change in New Zealand away from a reliance on alcohol for young people to have fun.”

Zeal and BUZZED are forces to be reckoned with in our society and the paint party is just the beginning. With organisations like these being unified, we can hold tight to the concept of youth who are brave and entirely unapologetically themselves becoming a larger reality than it already is.