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PM’s Presser: Liquor Law Reform, Asylum Seekers

PM’s Presser: Liquor Law Reform, Asylum Seekers

Images by Rory MacKinnon

The Government’s new liquor law reform package will focus on youth drinking and make parents more responsible for young people in their custody, Prime Minister John Key says.

Justice Minister Simon Power announced a raft of proposed changes to the country’s liquor laws Monday, emphasising the impact of youth drinking on crime, disorder and health issues.

The proposals incorporate 123 of the New Zealand Law Society’s 156 recommendations, including a split drinking age of 18 for on-license consumption and 20 for off-license purchases and fines of up to $2000 for adults who supply a youth with alcohol without their parents’ consent.

Key told reporters the pendulum had swung too far towards liberalisation of alcohol laws and the new laws would help parents resist pressure from their children to supply alcohol at parties.

“The law will certainly help give parents some form of protection in terms of what they do [but] it also demands of them that they apply responsibility as a responsible host.”

However the proposals would make few changes to the advertising and marketing of alcohol, which public health advocates say is a major cause of New Zealand’s heavy drinking culture.

The proposals would see the existing offence of promotion of excessive consumption applied to any business selling or promoting alcohol, and would make it an offence to promote alcohol in a way that has special appeal to people under the purchase age.

Key said it was ultimately up to parents to demonstrate that they did not want a binge-drinking culture.

“In the end we cannot legislate away New Zealand’s drinking culture,” he said.

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