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Time to limit alcohol outlets in Manukau


Media Release
21 November 2006


Time to limit the number of alcohol outlets in Manukau

Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says there are too many alcohol outlets in Manukau, and it is too easy for under age drinkers to get hold of alcohol. Almost all of the non-domestic murders in the city this year have involved excessive drinking by young people.

Sir Barry says, “Of course 15 year olds can’t handle alcohol, any more than they can drive a tank. I believe the recent decision by Parliament not to raise the legal age for buying alcohol was a big mistake.

“In fact I think it should be illegal for young people to drink until they’re 18. At the moment they’re not only drinking at younger ages but getting drunk in public places.

“The situation has been worsened in recent years because there are now more outlets selling alcohol. Too often the result is binge drinking. Given the presence of other provocative factors, such as gang rivalries, violent clashes and even fatal injuries are inevitable.

“I wish to see a review of the numbers. There are too few controls at present.”

The number of outlets is controlled by the city’s District Plan. There are 504 licensed outlets in Manukau.

“At the very least I would like to see no more licenses issued, but ultimately there should be fewer outlets and more restrictions. I don’t see why supermarkets should be able to sell booze all night long.

“However this is ultimately a personal responsibility issue and the drinking problem is not restricted to young people. Parents are doing the same thing. A culture of binge drinking, and tolerance of violence, is the fundamental problem. There is a widespread acceptance that excessive drinking on a regular basis is OK and violence is normal.

“That’s why fights are common every Saturday night outside popular bars in places like Otara and Mangere. The clientele are not having a quiet chardonnay in a corner. They go there to get tanked. It’s “Once Were Warriors” territory.

“It is by means universal but this behaviour is very common in the Pacific community in Manukau.

“The result is a predisposition to violence generally, and a high incidence of family violence in many Pacific families. The link between drinking and violence of all kinds is well established. Cut down on the drinking and you’ll cut down on the fists flying in homes throughout Manukau, as well as in parks and streets.”

ENDS

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