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Calls for Tougher Restrictions on Liquor Shops

20 September 2013

Calls for Tougher Restrictions on Liquor Shops

Manurewa Local Board Chair Angela Dalton today called on Auckland Council to introduce tough new discretionary measures in the Local Alcohol Policy (LAP) to tackle youth binge drinking in communities like Manurewa.

“We successfully pushed for a freeze or sinking lid in residential areas with high density of outlets such as in Manurewa, now we’re going a step further and calling for restricted designation in respect of premises stocking RTDs”, says Ms Dalton.

“We strongly support the recent recommendation by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority (ARLA) to impose a restricted designation in respect of premises stocking RTDs.

“We want to see the LAP ensure that any off-licensed store that targets young people with cheap ‘easy-to-drink’ liquor runs the risk of their license application being declined. Further, we strongly oppose liquor wholesalers entering into agreements with small liquor stores to the effect that 70 per cent of the retail space of the premise and 70 per cent of the chiller space must be devoted to RTDs.

“It’s outrageous that small corner liquor stores can be nearly completely devoted to pushing RTDs onto our young people. This should be addressed and reflected in the suitability of the owners gaining licenses.

“It’s time the LAP show some teeth against the likes of big alcohol who have these sorts or agreements with these small corner liquor stores. The residents of Manurewa demand nothing less,” Ms Dalton said.

Background
RTDs have been linked to earlier onset of drinking by young people and are a popular beverage among young drinkers, particularly young binge drinkers and female drinkers.

New Zealand evidence shows that:
• 43% of youth drinkers (aged 12-17 years) consumed RTDs on their last drinking occasion in 2007/08. In comparison 35% of youth drinkers consumed beer on their last drinking occasion;
• RTDs are more commonly consumed by past-year drinkers (drinkers who consumed alcohol in the last 12 months) aged 16-17 years compared to past-year drinkers aged 18-64 years (59% compared to 20.5%);
• Among youth drinkers, binge drinkers are more likely than moderate drinkers to report mainly drinking RTDs (51% compared to 34%);
• RTDs predict higher typical occasion alcohol consumption and heavier drinking better than any other beverage for females aged 14-17 years.

ENDS

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