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Last chance for Minister to cut liquor delay

5 December 2012

Last chance for Minister to cut liquor delay

Justice Minister Judith Collins has one last chance to do the right thing and cut the nonsensical 12 month delay that local councils could face before being able to implement local alcohol policies, says Labour MP Phil Twyford.

The Alcohol Reform Bill returns to Parliament tomorrow. The last stages of the debate will deal with National’s suggested 12 month delay, that could stop councils regulating the number, location and opening hours of liquor outlets for up to 16 months after the Bill is passed.

“Communities are crying out for powers to reduce the social harm of alcohol abuse. I cannot understand why Judith Collins is determined to impose this delay,” Phil Twyford said.

“The Minister has said many small councils could not be ready any earlier, and that it is ridiculous to expect part of the country to be covered by a law and the rest of the country not.

“Judith Collins is being deliberately disingenuous. The Bill gives councils the option to develop local alcohol policies. It is not mandatory so no council is going to be forced to develop an alcohol policy before it is ready.

“Councils and their communities are passionate about these changes and should be allowed to get started.

“My amendment to the legislation would cut the implementation delay from 12 months to three. It would allow local alcohol policies to be in place within seven months following public consultation.

“New Zealanders have waited long enough to have a say on liquor outlets in their communities, Labour wants to let them get on with the job,” Phil Twyford said.

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