Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Focus on anti-social behaviour, not alcohol availability

Media release from Hospitality NZ

Focus on anti-social behaviour, not alcohol availability

Mike Keane, Associate Professor in human psychopharmacology and lecturer in public health at both Monash and Swinburne Universities, recently penned a hard-hitting column for The Australian newspaper titled “Don’t blame the booze, its zero tolerance on violence that’s needed.” National President of Hospitality New Zealand, Adam Cunningham, says Keane “is exactly right when he identifies individual responsibility as the key to resolving alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and violence, rather than yet more regulation.”

Mr Cunningham suggested that Kiwi politicians, Police, local councils and the legions of taxpayer funded health lobbyists read the thought-provoking and challenging article. In a key section, Keane wrote "it is of great importance that politicians not be seduced by the fool's gold of the availability hypothesis, about which our public health elite is so besotted. Proponents of the availability hypothesis believe that if only we enact ever more draconian laws to restrict everyone's access to alcohol then that small number of violent thugs will leave us alone. The idea is that it is all society's fault for allowing temptation." Mr Cunningham follows this with the question, “when did laws, rather than education change any society? It’s time to stop managing people as a singular focus, and start expecting them to manage themselves.”

Keane’s main conclusion is that “even slight changes to the elements that control complex human behaviour can have a substantial impact: if we continually stress alcohol as the problem, rather than the need for individual responsibility, we may end up adding to the problem.” Hospitality New Zealand, the industry body representing nearly 2,500 Kiwi businesses, has consistently argued that authorities here are overly focused on the sellers of alcohol instead of ensuring people are held more responsible for their own behaviour.

Mr Cunningham said “we should crack down on the individuals who act irresponsibly rather than trying to make it more difficult for responsible Kiwis to enjoy a couple of drinks with friends and family. Hospitality New Zealand believes we should concentrate directly on the problem drinkers and their anti-social behaviour, rather than on excessive regulations and restrictions. In New Zealand it is perfectly legal to be drunk on the street but the second you step into a bar - the bar’s owner and staff are legally responsible for your intoxication, even if you have not purchased or drunk a drop on the premises. You however, are still not legally accountable. This is a ludicrous situation. We support bringing back the crime of public drunkenness and introducing a strict no-tolerance policy for violence and anti-social behaviour.”

“In our view, New Zealand could learn a great deal from Associate Professor Keane’s arguments. One of his key points is that we should be directly taking on the perpetrators of violence in our streets, not cowering away from them and blaming ourselves for allowing them access to alcohol,” said Mr Cunningham. He concluded that “we need to focus on the real issues. New Zealand needs to stop this single focus of “restrict to succeed” and take back some personal freedom. A true zero tolerance policy on violence and a greater focus on individual responsibility in everything, including drinking.”


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Scouring: Cavalier Merger Would Extract 'Monopoly Rents' - Godfrey Hirst

A merger of Cavalier Wool Holdings and New Zealand Wool Services International's two wool scouring operations would create a monopoly, says carpet maker Godfrey Hirst. The Commerce Commission on Friday released its second draft determination on the merger, maintaining its view that the public benefits would outweigh the loss of competition. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: She Means Business

As Foreman says in her conclusion, this is a business book. It opens with a brief biographical section followed by a collection of interesting tips for entrepreneurs... More>>


Hourly Wage Gap Grows: Gender Pay Gap Still Fixed At Fourteen Percent

“The totally unchanged pay gap is a slap in the face for women, families and the economy,” says Coalition spokesperson, Angela McLeod. Even worse, Māori and Pacific women face an outrageous pay gap of 28% and 33% when compared with the pay packets of Pākehā men. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news