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Robson's private member's bill welcomed

Wednesday 4 May 2005

Robson's private member's bill welcomed

The Alcohol Advisory Council welcomed today's announcement that Progressive MP Matt Robson's private member's bill, seeking to return the minimum legal purchase age for alcohol to 20, was drawn from the parliamentary members' ballot.

“ALAC strenuously opposed the lowering of the age in 1999 and our view has not changed, “ said ALAC Chief Executive Officer Dr Mike MacAvoy. “We would welcome a return to 20 as the minimum purchase age as this, if strictly enforced, would restrict the availability of alcohol to young people.”

However, Dr MacAvoy also warned that increasing the purchase age would not provide the quick fix that some people might think.

“Simply raising the age also does nothing to change the adult drinking culture which says it is okay to get drunk. Our research shows young people learn their drinking behaviour from adults so while single strategy measures such as this can help with problems associated with young people and drinking, until we change New Zealand’s risky drinking culture we will not eliminate alcohol-related harm.

“Also whether the age is 18 or 20, we still face the same problem of making sure the law is enforced and regrettably New Zealand does not have a good track record on this one.”


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