(New Zealand) – MPs to vote on liquor reform

  • Post category:World News

Parliament will vote for the first time this week on legislation cracking down on youth drinking.

The Alcohol Reform Bill proposes a split purchase age, gives parents greater authority to manage their children’s access to alcohol, allows for regulations limiting the alcohol content in RTDs, allows alcohol products which are particularly dangerous or appealing to minors to be banned and makes it an offence to promote alcohol in a way which has special appeal to minors.

Justice Minister Simon Power said the bill struck a balance between dealing with the considerable harm that alcohol causes while not unfairly penalising responsible drinkers.

“This Government sees overhauling our alcohol laws as a priority, particularly for addressing the drivers of crime, because alcohol is a major lubricant for offending.”

The government expects the changes to be in place before the next election but they won’t take effect before the Rugby World Cup.
Under the split age proposal, 18 is the legal age for drinking at an on-licence but drinkers have to be 20 to purchase from an off-licence.
Mr Power said it would be up to each party’s caucus to decide how to vote on the bill but National MPs would vote along party lines except for the alcohol purchase age, which will be decided by a conscience vote.

Other parties have indicated they will also treat the drinking age as a conscience vote.

The Government hopes the bill will get its first vote this week before being sent to a select committee for public submissions.


Source: (New Zealand) , 08/11/2010