Public Health welcomes PM’s call
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Public Health welcomes PM’s call to cut numbers of liquor outlets
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is welcoming today’s statement from the Prime Minister calling for a cut in the number of liquor outlets.
Alcohol related harm is a major problem in New Zealand in terms of the cost to individuals, families and society.
A review of liquor outlet opening hours, location, and numbers in New Zealand cities and suburbs and how this may lead to alcohol related harm is now overdue. The more liquor outlets there are in a given location the higher the likelihood that this will lead to increased consumption and in turn more harm. International studies show that crime in particular is associated with outlet numbers.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Andrew Lindsay said, "ARPHS welcomes the opportunity to work with local councils for better planning and understanding of the issues and to assess the impact of opening hours, numbers, and location of liquor outlets on health.”
The Sale of Liquor Act does not provide public health agencies the opportunity to influence the number or types of liquor outlet in a given location. It’s timely to review the Act which is now nearly 20 years old. The increasing number of liquor outlets is an ongoing concern and this area should be considered and strengthened in future revisions of the Act.
Public policies such as this increase the safety and health of communities. ARPHS has supported this view for some time and recently raised this issue in its advice to the Public Health Bill review panel refer http://www.arphs.govt.nz/submissions/submissions.asp