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Full review of liquor laws welcome

6 August 2008

Media Release
Available for immediate use

Full review of liquor laws welcome

"The Hospitality Association has welcomed the first principles review of the Sale of Liquor Act and the Sale and Supply of Liquor and Liquor Enforcement Bill. The Association is pleased that they include the issue of supermarkets and dairies selling alcohol products and their pricing strategies", says Hospitality Association Chief Executive Bruce Robertson.

New Zealand's propensity to binge drinking has increased significantly since supermarkets and grocery stores were given the opportunity to sell both beer and wine and it has also led New Zealanders to increasingly drink in an unsupervised environment. While the Law Commission review is welcome, the Association had hoped that supermarket pricing would have been addressed as part of the Sale and Supply of Liquor and Liquor Enforcement Bill.

The Association expects the Law Commission review will also look at making it an offence to be intoxicated in a public place. Currently the only party who can be prosecuted for intoxication is a licensee who allows somebody to be intoxicated on licensed premises, or continues to serve them until they become intoxicated. "A strong signal to all New Zealanders that drinking to excess is not acceptable in today's society is needed", said Mr Robertson.

The hospitality industry will support much of this Bill, in particular the tightening up of supply of alcohol to minors and the ability to more effectively police those using false identification.

Commenting on the greater emphasis on local government liquor policies, Mr Robertson suggested that this was largely a reinforcement of the current approach being taken by the Liquor Licensing Authority and was unlikely to have much practical impact.

The Association is looking forward to seeing the detail of both the review and the Bill and making the appropriate submissions, concluded Mr Robertson.


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