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HANZ Will Produce '18+ Card'

Media Statement By: Tony Ryall Minister of Justice

16 October 1999

Justice Minister, Tony Ryall, announced today that the Hospitality Association of New Zealand, has been approved to issue a new nationwide Evidence of Age Document, the '18+ Card'.

The document will be a high security plastic card similar to the new photo drivers licence. The new cards are authorised under regulations made under the Sale of Liquor Amendment Act (No.2) 1999. It will cost applicants $20.

From 1 November, NZ Post Shops will begin processing applications for the 18+ Card, allowing the first cards to be issued before 1 December. Applicants will be required to make a statutory declaration and provide documents similar to those required when applying for a passport.

'Though no process can provide absolute guarantees, it is important that parents, retailers and the public can have confidence that the cards in young peoples' hands are accurate and genuine,' said Mr Ryall.

'Under the Sale of Liquor Act, the legal drinking age reduces to 18 years on 1 December 1999. The Act already authorises a New Zealand photo drivers licence and a New Zealand passport as Evidence of Age Documents.

'Parliament indicated to me that it wanted cards to be approved sparingly. I have therefore decided to authorise only one additional card, at least for the time being.

'It is unclear how many people will apply for the 18+ Card, as many young people have already decided to upgrade their drivers licence to the new photo drivers licence well before their birthday.

'ALAC and the Ministries of Youth Affairs and Education are making good progress on developing an information campaign for young people about the changes to the drinking laws and the responsibility they bring,' said Mr Ryall. ENDS




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