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Huge backing for higher drinking age

October 20, 2006

Huge backing for higher drinking age

PALMERSTON NORTH – Three out of four New Zealanders say the legal drinking age should go back up from 18 to 20 – and nearly half of us want television advertising of alcohol banned, according to a new survey.

The mail survey sent to 2250 people chosen at random from the national electoral rolls by the Department of Marketing found 74.6 per cent of respondents favoured the higher drinking age that applied until 1999.

The survey, conducted over the past two months, had 1258 responses. It is part of the Department’s involvement in the International Social Survey Programme, which this year examined the role of government.

The findings come as the New Zealand Drug Foundation begins a survey of members of Parliament on their support for the raising the drinking age and the Law and Order select committee's report to Parliament on the Youth Alcohol Harm Reduction Bill, which would raise the drinking age to 20, is due to be tabled today.

As well as indicating whether they supported or opposed stricter enforcement of existing regulations, respondents to the Massey survey were also asked their views on additional regulation, such as bans on alcohol advertising and sponsorship, and supply restrictions at sports events. Forty four percent supported banning alcohol advertising on television, while 26 per cent opposed such a move. Support for a ban on alcohol sponsorship was more evenly divided, with 35 per cent in favour and an equal proportion opposing a ban.


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