Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Lowering Drinking Age Law Didn't Reverse Negatives

Lowering Drinking Age Law Didn't Reverse Negative Trends

Progressive Party Press Statement
Press leader Jim Anderton

Progressive leader Jim Anderton says that the empirical evidence since the 1999 decision by Parliament to lower the legal drinking age to 18 suggests that the change didn't reverse negative social indicators as many had hoped at the time.

Jim Anderton was commenting on the third report by the Ministry of Justice on the effects of lowering the minimum drinking age released today.

"The last report, published in 2002, concluded that the time frame at that time was too short for conclusive analysis although the 2002 report did note that apprehensions for disorderly behaviour by those under 20 years of age had continued to increase.

"Today's report says negative social trends that existed before the legal age was lowered have continued unabated.

"It seems clear that young people who are drinking alcohol in this country are drinking both more frequently, and in higher volumes, especially in the 14-17 year old category.

"Many Police districts believe this is due to the fact that lowering the drinking age has made it easier, and in higher volumes, especially in the 14-17 year old category.

"The question is, do we continue to wait for more evidence over time, or should we act on the anecdotal evidence in the statistics which, on balance, indicate that the lowering of the legal drinking age has not had the beneficial impact many of us had hoped for but may even have had a detrimental effect on young people's drinking behaviour," the Progressive leader said.

"Problem drinking is New Zealand's Number One drug problem, with enormous personal, social and economic implications.

"I believe that we should adopt a precautionary approach to all big social challenges and am therefore signaling that I am moving to the view that Parliament should seriously consider supporting any bid to raise the legal drinking age back up to 20 years," the Progressive leader said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages