The liquor debate began this morning with Issue 2 whether or not there should by an Photo ID card for young people - arguably the critical provision in the bill as if photo ID is approved then considerable support will come in to support lowering the drinking age. Voting has now commenced and looks to be painfully slow.
Shortly after midday a personal vote division was called for on option A - the least restrictive and which does not provide for a youth ID.
However the real debate appears to be over Option D which a large number of speakers appeared to support.
Option D will only come up once Options A, B and C have been defeated. If they are defeated. There are numerous amendments. (See earlier stories for background on how the debate is being conducted.)
Issue Two - Evidence Of Age
Option A - The status quo. No evidence of
age document, policing of age the responsibility of liquor
outlet managers with the defence of reasonable grounds for
believing someone to be of the correct age.
Option B - Provides for an evidence of age document (anything with a photograph or as prescribed by the Minister) to be a defence against selling alcohol to a minor. Also the current defence would also stand.
Option C - Provides for an evidence of age document (anything with a photograph or as prescribed by the Minister) to be a defence against selling alcohol to a minor.
Option D - Provides for an evidence of age document (anything with a photograph or as prescribed by the Minister) and also allows the Minister of Justice to authorise a photo ID card.
(Debate Snippets. The following is far from comprehensive and just catches a smidgen of a debate rich with evocation of youth.)
Prefacing the debate Jonathan Hunt expressed disappointment with the arrangements for dealing with the bill - the two bites of the cherry approach - and the select committee's failure to come up with recommendations.
Tony Ryall then rose to defend and explain the system and its reasons followed by Phil Goff who - uncharacteristically - expressed his clear support for Ryall's arguments.
As debate began several speakers observed the need for the result of today and tomorrow's proceedings to be a consistent clear approach to liquor reform.
Towards the end a consensus appeared to have emerged. Police should have more resources or not. The ID should have a digitised photo or not.
OPTION D: Lianne Dalziel - Labour: Proof of age should be the only defence and will move an amendment to that effect in phase 2 - agree with option D. Young people say they want to have a means for demonstrating their age and I don't want to see the drivers license (associated with driving) also associated with drinking.
OPTION D: George Hawkins - Labour: Agreed with Dalziel. It is what young people believe that is important. I talked to two high-schools. And some very astute students. 62% of them believed their should be photographic ID and 28% said none. I first went to a pub when I was 20. People say the police should be tougher - but they also say that more burglars should be caught.
OPTION D: Steve Maharey - Labour: For the City of Palmerston North. We have a clear position on alcohol use in Palmerston North as a student and army city. We have come to a simple conclusion. We want the age to be 18 and we want clear identification to be in place. We will be seeking 18 as the age and option D. The police find it extremely difficult to police at present. We are a student city and we want to be able to act responsibly, effectively and efficiently. On August 26th want to join the liquor debate with an amendment on a host responsibility regime. We want to change the age so that young people will be safer. But we also want to say to hosts - yes young people are in there - but you must serve alcohol responsibly and prevent abuse.
OPTION D: Member for Manakau East (Ross Robertson?) - This electorate is the face of the future. I surveyed my electorate. The electorate felt so strongly about it they voted 9 to 1 for a compulsory ID card recognising that 18 might become the law.
OPTION D: Warren Kyd - National - I congratulate the select committee. I think this is the important section. I tend to be fairly conservative about identification and liberal about other issues. I am a reformed smoker. I am going to support option D. In my view this is not particularly onerous. What it does do is provide protection to licensees and their staff. One sees abuse of club cards. One sees swapping cards. That's why I support option D.
(OPTION D - probably): Grant Gillon - Alliance - I want an assurance that if there is an ID that the photo will not be digitalised and will not have a signature. 18 year olds can now drink already in the company of their elders. My experience has showed me that there has been a change in the drinking attitudes of youngsters. They tend to be more disciplined now. My children for example club together and get a taxi home. This is a recent phenomena. I would like to see 18-19 year olds to be able to drink in safety not with a crate on the beach or in the park. In my previous job as a firefighter I saw limbs torn apart in motor accidents. The critical question is how will it be monitored.
OPTION D: Jill Pettis - Labour: Very important we have nationwide consistency. Let us accept that any card is not adequate. If this is going to be an enforcement mechanism it needs integrity to be used. I too have problems with the order of voting - but I respect what the Minister and Select Committee say about that.
OPPOSED TO OPTION D: (Robyn MacDonald?)- Opposed to the digitised photograph in the Drivers license. When you are talking about a small sector of the community. This is just ridiculous. You have to first ask what sort of ID they want and at what cost. We have not had sufficient consultation on this.
National - Shane Arden - move closure.
OPTION A: Frank Grover - Christian Heritage. When considering drivers licenses I had same concerns. Major problem is this. Bringing in any option other than A will provide an easy cop-out. Currently it is perfectly appropriate for proof of age. If they are produced ID then they can sell it. Providing a complete defence will compound the current problem. Let us make the responsibility stay on.
National - Pansy Wong - move closure.
Committee chair allows Grant Gillon to seek leave to speak to an amendment - refused.
Point Of Order - Member sought leave to amend SOP.
Question Put on Option A:
Wayne Mapp - Amendment
Ryall - "Mr Mapp is attaching tougher penalties to every option and will have to move an amendment to every option. We have discussed this in the business committee."
Vote for Option A As Amended.
Personal vote called for…..
Vote ends - 10 minutes later…Future Bells will only be one minute.
Speaker Option A as amended is not agreed to.
Point of Order: Phillida Bunkle missed the vote - "you simply cannot get here in seven minutes from the upper floors of Bowen House."
Later it emerged that Ken Shirley. Another member of Act. Jeanette Fitzsimmons and Phillida Bunkle all arrived late and then that Phillida had in fact voted by proxy.