Select committee inquiry on liquor issues needed
John Key MP
National Party Leader
17 June 2008
Select committee inquiry on liquor issues called for
A select committee inquiry should be launched into liquor use and licensing issues as part of a comprehensive plan to combat the serious law and order problems facing New Zealand, says National Party Leader John Key.
"Liquor laws are only one aspect of the serious law and order issues facing the country, but Labour has talked big in this area and failed to take meaningful action on previous reviews. Should National form a government, we will act.
"In November 2006, the then-Justice Minister, Mark Burton, promised a review of liquor laws which would include consideration of the number of off-licenses. Since then, very little has happened.
"MPs need to consider liquor licensing and whether controls are adequate or not. Clearly, there is much community concern about this issue. This morning, National's caucus decided to support George Hawkins' member's bill being introduced to the House.
"Helen Clark and Labour need to answer questions about why they deserve any more time after nine years of failure on law and order.
"Labour has a record of failure on violent crime over the past nine years. Under their watch, violent offending has risen by 43% across the country, while in Counties-Manukau it has risen by 64% and the number of robberies has more than doubled, up by 149%.
"Under Labour, Counties-Manukau has the second-lowest number of sworn police officers per head of population of all police districts.
"National has a comprehensive plan to combat the law and order problems facing the country.
"I am committed to improving the safety of our communities. We have already laid out policies in areas like policing, youth justice, youth education, and victims' rights. There will be more to come."