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Alcohol Too Readily Available Without ID

July 9, 2002

Councillor Noelene Raffills, Chairperson of Auckland City’s Law and Order Committee, is “appalled’ at the findings of a new health survey, which shows how accessible alcohol is from off-licensed premises.

The survey found that underage youngsters could easily access alcohol throughout the wider Auckland region. The survey, a joint project funded by the Ministry of Health, found that in 61% of cases, the study group was able to buy alcohol without ID across Auckland and Manukau cities, as well as Rodney, Papakura and Franklin districts.

The study involved 18-year-old “pseudo-patrons” visiting over 200 randomly selected off-licensed premises on two different occasions, attempting to purchase alcohol without providing age identification. Off-licensed premises included bottle shops, supermarkets and grocery stores. The findings were released last Thursday by Hon. Phil Goff, minister for justice (July 4).

Cr Raffills says: “I saw the huge pile of alcohol brought by these youngsters. I was disturbed at how often alcohol had been sold without ID being asked for. Even when they said they had no ID, it seemed to make little difference.

“I am concerned to see that 57% of the sales made without ID were in Auckland City boundaries. I am keen to work with police, along with any agency that is able to prosecute those off-license premises that are selling alcohol illegally. After a successful prosecution, the premises is shut down for a week.”

She says the issue of alcohol management is one that Council’s Law and Order Committee is actively addressing.
Cr Raffills says: “Alcohol abuse has so many devastating impacts on our society. An alcohol ban, such as the one proposed for Auckland’s CBD, is one strand of a solution. We are currently hearing submissions on that issue, with the matter coming before the Law & Order Committee again on July 18. We have had a number of submissions on the proposed CBD alcohol ban, which shows the community’s interest in responsible alcohol management. One of them was from Auckland City’s Youth Council, which endorsed many aspects of the proposal for a liquor ban on central city streets.

“There are also firm alcohol management principles contained in the Safer Auckland City framework, a forum where wider issues relating to the city’s safety can be addressed. Auckland City takes the view that alcohol management is something we need to achieve for a Safer Auckland,” Cr Raffills says.


ENDS

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