Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Should Adults Be Allowed To Drink?

Should Adults Be Allowed To Drink?

Should adults be allowed to drink? Libertarianz Spokesman on Drugs Dr. Richard Goode is pleased to answer this rhetorical question. "Of course they should! And," he continued, "if they're allowed to drink alcohol, then they should also be allowed to buy it."

"The Libertarianz Party opposes raising the drinking age (the legal purchase age for alcohol) from 18 to 20. To state the obvious, raising the drinking age from 18 to 20 discriminates on the basis of age. Such discrimination by the government is wrong and is expressly forbidden by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990."

The Bill of Rights Act 1990 enshrines the principle of 'one law for all'. It protects citizens from discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation. "Imagine the furore," suggests Goode, "if a private member's bill were introduced proposing to restrict the sale of alcohol on the basis of race or sexual orientation. And yet, by treating 18 and 19 year old adults differently from adults aged 20 years or more, the current bill falls foul of exactly the same clause in the Bill of Rights Act."

"Unfortunately," laments Goode, "the Bill of Rights Act has no teeth. The rights and freedoms it 'guarantees' may be subject 'to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.' The Attorney-General is required to draw to the attention of the House of Representatives the introduction of any Bill that is inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Act. In this case, the Attorney-General was advised 'that the Bill, by increasing the legal drinking age from 18 to 20 years old, gives rise to a prima facie issue of discrimination on the ground of age,' but that such discrimination is 'justified' and 'reasonable'."

"The bill's proponents tell us that outlawing the sale of alcohol to 18 and 19 year olds will reduce the incidence of binge-drinking by 14 and 15 year olds, but the evidence for any such benefits is inconclusive at best, and certainly not robust enough to justify age discrimination as 'reasonable'," notes Goode. "Remember Prohibition? It still doesn't work."

"I call upon the many National Party MPs who support this bill, or who are wavering in their opposition, to take proper heed of their leader's rallying cry of 'one law for all' and see this bill for what it really is - unjustified, unreasonable, unnecessary, discriminatory wowserism."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods (is the dollar up or down?) the outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Submissions Summary: The People's Commission On Public Media

This Summary is a preliminary report from the People’s Commission. It brings together views and aspirations of the hundreds of people who made submissions, attended public meetings, filled out the online survey and made speeches to our Panel. More>>

Housing Plans: Protest Over Ihumatao Development

Ihumatao in Mangere, next to the airport in Auckland, holds the archaeological remains of 1000 years of food production; from when Maori first landed in the area, through to early European settler agriculture and right up until today. More>>

ALSO:

Negotiations: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word.. More>>

ALSO:

Contains Highly Colloquial Language: Your F**king Guide To Government Formation

The following message is in no way endorsed by the Electoral Commission. They are f**king done with this election. More>>

NZ Emissions Up 50% 1990-2013: Report Confirms CLimate Change Impacting NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: Inland Revenue Steps Back From Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election