[ Skip to main content ]
This article is over 3 years old

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.”

This article is over 3 years old
Share this article:
Share:

Related See more

Michael Baker

Michael Baker: Putting to rest Richard Nixon's failed war on drugs

Newly-appointed board member Prof Michael Baker calls for an end to Nixon's war on drugs, in favour of a scientific and evidence-based appro...

Nixon's war is not our war

[Video] Fifty years ago, Richard Nixon announced his intention to wage an all-out war on drugs - and NZ soon followed. It's time for a bette...

Gower is right

Following Patrick Gower’s documentary On P, we call on the government to fund the roll out of the successful Te Ara Oranga programme.

US world globe

Turning away from the 'war on drugs'

Recently Oregon became the first US state to decriminalise all drug use, the latest of many changes there and around the world.

The Level promo

Straight up guide for people who use drugs

The Level is for real people, in real life, whatever level they are at.

The Level

social graphic subscribe

Subscribe to email updates

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

Sign up now!

Back to top