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Proposed legislation negative and archaic,

20 October 2006

Proposed legislation from select committee
is negative and archaic, says HANZ

Generation Y will respond negatively to a select committee's authoritarian approach to young people and alcohol, says the Hospitality Association of New Zealand.

This was the response following today's news from a Select Committee recommending that the age for purchasing alcohol be raised to 20.

"Modern educative action is required, not archaic and draconian measures which will further alienate a generation with different values and attitudes to those of our MPs," says Bruce Robertson Chief Executive of the Hospitality Association.

He said that penalising 18 and 19 year olds for New Zealand's drinking culture is selective, patronising and unjust.

"The majority of 18 and 19 year olds consume alcohol in a safe and responsible manner and the suggested changes will hammer them unfairly," he said.

"We expect them to be responsible enough to vote, become a member of parliament, join the police force, have same sex marriages, have children or be a prostitute but with this Bill, the Select Committee is saying we can not trust them to buy alcohol."

Mr Robertson says it is naive to suggest 18 and 19 year olds will not get access to alcohol … despite the proposal to make it an offence for anyone other than a parent or guardian to supply alcohol to those under the age of 20.

"Pushing this age group away from supervised drinking environments will cause more problems in public places and particularly in hospitality precincts and we anticipate real problems for staff if they have to inform regular customers that they can no longer be served,"

He said that the hospitality industry (along with 18 and 19 year olds) will be looking for parliamentarians to produce sensible and fair legislation when the Bill becomes before the house and send it to the shredder where it belongs.

ENDS

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