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Keep drinking age at 18

Jamie Simpson
New Zealand Young Nationals President

17 June 2005

Keep drinking age at 18

The drinking age must remain at 18 says New Zealand Young Nationals President, Jamie Simpson.

"The rationale to raise the purchasing age of alcohol to 20 is flawed," says Jamie Simpson

"Instead of carrying out a knee-jerk reaction, what we need to do is educate young people about sensible drinking habits and encourage personal responsibility. We must remember that 18 and 19 year-olds are adults and we should treat them as such."

Mr Simpson says there is no denying that across all age groups of New Zealanders, there is a binge-drinking culture, but he says raising the drinking age

is not going to solve the problem.

"It is hypocritical that 18 and 19 year-olds are seen as mature enough to vote but not mature enough to have a drink in a bar. Members of Parliament must not bury their heads in the sand on this issue.

"Matt Robson's Sale of Liquor (Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction) Amendment Bill misses the point on addressing young people and drinking, all it does is highlight the difference in opinion between young and old," Jamie Simpson says.

"The Young Nationals will be making a submission to the law and order select committee and will represent the youth of New Zealand on this issue" says Jamie Simpson.

Ends

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