Back to top

[ Skip to main content ]

The passing of the Alcohol Reform Bill into law today was met with a resounding “meh” by the New Zealand Drug Foundation.

Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell said the Government had passed up an opportunity to make a real positive change to New Zealand’s harmful heavy drinking culture and had instead tinkered around the edges.

“It’s a bit meh because the law fails to address the most important issues to reduce alcohol-related harm,” said Mr Bell.

Nothing has been done to address the low price of alcohol, long hours of availability, saturation advertising, purchase age, and providing adequate treatment for those people with alcohol problems.

“While there are some parts of the bill which are potentially positive — such as local alcohol policies, parental consent, and reducing the number of places alcohol will be available from — the new alcohol law will not reduce harm as much as people have hoped and expected,” said Mr Bell.

“Thankfully the Government has left open the possibility of addressing minimum price and lowering the blood alcohol content (BAC) for drink drivers.

“Increasing price of the cheapest alcohol, reducing marketing and advertising, and lowering the BAC are both proven measures that will reduce alcohol-related harm.”

“The Government should now provide a timeline for action on minimum price, advertising, and BAC.”

Mr Bell said the next step is to ensure communities have the tools they need to take part in the formulation of their local alcohol plans.

“At the start of this process there were people marching in their communities asking for more control over local liquor licenses,” said Mr Bell.

“Now that the Government has given communities greater power to set their local alcohol policy it needs to ensure communities have the knowledge and tools to shape their policies.”

Share this article:
Share:

Check out these related articles: See more articles

Misuse of Drugs amendment: A temporary fix while we address the real problem

MPs are currently hearing public submissions on a potentially significant change to our drug law - the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Bill. Here'......

Read More

Drug Foundation is backing a Yes vote

Following the announcement of the Government’s approach to the 2020 cannabis referendum, the Drug Foundation will be promoting a Yes vote....

Read More

Health Not Handcuffs drug reform campaign launches

Seven public health and social justice organisations have combined to set up Health Not Handcuffs as a way for the people to express their s......

Read More
MoS march 2019 thumbnail health not handcuffs

Introducing He Korowai Aroha, Health Not Handcuffs

A new movement called Health Not Handcuffs has been launched ahead of the cannabis referendum, calling for drug laws that give people a han......

Read More
e substance newsletter promotional thumbnail
Subscribe to email updates

Get regular news, analysis and commentary on drugs issues in New Zealand. Free.

Sign up now!

Did You Know resources thumbnail
Did You Know: Teenagers can handle facts about drugs

Young people are more likely to delay or not use alcohol or other drugs if they know the facts about specific substances. Use our age-appropriate tools to start conversations with whānau and your young person... a-sap!

Learn more