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How to Win An Election

Hon Jim Anderton

Member of Parliament for Wigram

Progressive Leader

How to Win An Election

10 March 2011

Media Statement

Jim Anderton said today that the whole package of reforms outlined in the Law Commission’s report on reforming our alcohol legislation ‘Curbing the Harm’ was needed to make a difference to New Zealand’s heavy and binge drinking culture.

“Members of Parliament have a golden opportunity to make a difference here and shape a different future for alcohol on a path that would look like that of tobacco.

“In my 27 years as a Member of Parliament, this is the time to stand up and acknowledge that we need a united front in the House to deal with New Zealand’s heavy drinking culture – and all the problems that flow from it.

“Since the purchase age was lowered in 1999, there are now worse outcomes for our young people where alcohol is involved, but putting up the age of purchase is only one of the changes that need to be made - in a comprehensive way,” Jim Anderton said today.

“We need to tighten up the rules for liquor advertising, sponsorship and promotion.

“The current bill does not address the Law Commission’s recommendations to develop a blueprint for addiction service delivery. Alcohol addiction must be a crucial part of any overall plan that deals with the nation’s heavy-drinking culture. It affects 700,000 New Zealanders, that’s the combined population of Wellington and Christchurch and is the cause of one third of all police arrests.

“We can do something about the needless number of drunk-driving deaths by legislating for lower blood-alcohol limits. New Zealand’s blood alcohol level is in the highest group in the world. We must also implement minimum price limits.

“Alcohol is a legalised drug and it is sold with much hype, glamour and fanfare. If politicians want to make themselves relevant with New Zealand’s communities, who live with the realities of alcohol abuse, our MPs could take up the slogan from DB Export ads, How to Lose an Election and give it a little twist. Instead of losing the election, they could well win one,” Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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