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Youth Harm Avoided: For Now

Media Release

Attn: Political & Parliamentary Reporters

Youth Harm Avoided: For Now

OPSA today welcomed the government’s announced review of the Sale of Liquor Act and rejection of the proposed bill to raise purchase age.

OPSA had serious concerns that tossing 18 and 19 year olds out of pubs would lead them to instead drink illicitly in dangerous circumstances and alternatives. OPSA predicted increased hospitalisation, violence, rape, unplanned pregnancies, and drug issues in 18-19s if the bill had passed.

Like ALAC, OPSA feels that a review is more likely to make a greater contribution to solving New Zealand’s drinking culture than changing the age at which alcohol can be purchased.

“An intelligent review should be of more use than an ill-considered and knee-jerk bill that would have make things less safe for young people.” Said Natalie Absalom, OPSA Co-president.

OPSA supported a split age systems where 18-19s were allowed into pubs and drink in relative supervision (ie with controls on intoxication levels), but the off-licence age raised to 20. It is hoped this may be one of the recommendations from the review.

OPSA also feels that greater limits should be placed on advertising, and that critical skills of such promotions should be taught in schools, and hopes these will also be considered.


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