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Govt to review supply, sale of liquor to under 18s

Review to look at supply and sale of liquor to under 18 year olds

Justice Minister Mark Burton and Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor today announced the Government's intention to review the restrictions on the supply and sale of liquor to under 18 year olds should the Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction: Purchase Age) Amendment Bill be defeated in Parliament today.

"The issues relating to underage drinking raised in the debate over the past few weeks are important ones that have significant impacts on our communities and young people," Mark Burton said.

"There is a need for a focused review looking specifically at the effectiveness of current restrictions on the sale and supply of liquor to young people under the age of eighteen," he said.

A number of initiatives are in place that aim to reduce alcohol related harm across all groups including youth, such as licence controller qualifications for bar managers, local liquor bans and the Police Alcohol Action Plan. The review would look at the impact of these and other initiatives.

"There is a wide range of views on the best way to address New Zealand's binge drinking culture, particularly among young people. It's important that we have a complete picture of how people under 18 are obtaining alcohol and whether we are reducing this access or not," Damien O'Connor said.

"The review would take into account changes that have taken place since the age was dropped to 18 in 1999, such as the increase in the number of outlets supplying alcohol," Mr O'Connor said.

The review could lead to changes to existing policies, enhanced enforcement activity, improved education programmes or legislative change.

ENDS

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