[ Skip to main content ]

The Drug Foundation is urging all political parties to support a new alcohol bill announced by the government today, saying the bill addresses key weaknesses in our current liquor law through amendments which shouldn’t be politically contentious.

“We welcome the bill. While it’s been a long time coming, it covers a range of incredibly important issues which will help families and communities tackle New Zealand’s poor drinking culture,” said Drug Foundation Executive Director Ross Bell.

“Typically, alcohol law is treated as a conscience issue by most political parties. This is usually because the minimum purchase age for alcohol is being debated. The purchase age isn’t included in this bill, which is probably very smart politics by the government, and because of this we can see no other issue which would trip up politicians’ consciences.”

“Greater community say in liquor licensing, the development of local alcohol plans, and strengthening parental responsibility on the supply of alcohol are not political issues. We therefore call on all political parties to support this bill, and not abdicate responsibility to individual MPs.”

“Cross party support will be needed to get this bill to select committee stage before the election. Because the government has taken this long to introduce the bill, it might require urgency to get the bill firmly on Parliament’s agenda.”

The Drug Foundation says the bill doesn’t go far enough on alcohol advertising. It will be recommending a total ban on all forms of alcohol marketing in recognition of the influence advertising has on New Zealand’s drinking culture.

“Unfortunately the bill is also silent on the price of alcohol. We know the ready availability of cheap booze is a key factor in our poor drinking culture. Cheap alcohol not only influences young people’s drinking, especially of cheap, sweet alcopops, it also encourages all other drinkers to consume more.”

The Drug Foundation notes the price of alcohol will be addressed by the Law Commission review of liquor laws, also announced today.

It has welcomed the review saying, as with New Zealand’s drug law – which the commission is currently reviewing – our alcohol law hasn’t kept up with the rapidly changing alcohol market and trends in drinking. The review’s terms of reference gives the commission wide scope to examine the complexity of alcohol policy and law.

“The Law Commission review provides a great opportunity for New Zealanders to think hard about our drinking culture, and to discuss the best ways to create a culture of moderation and to support people who choose not to drink.”

Share this article:
Share:

Related See more

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail on weed

No is a vote to maintain Aotearoa’s status quo

Some say cannabis law is a tool of race and class oppression. At the same time, many people with terminal illness or chronic pain have found...

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail rally

Unify rally to end our drug war

A glimpse of what happened at Auckland Town Hall at the Unify Rally on Monday 16 September. Photographer Katrina Elton was on hand to captu...

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail prescriptions image

Unawareness and cost block cannabis prescriptions

Although medicinal cannabis was made legal in New Zealand, the medical profession has been slow to widely adopt the new option. Russell Brow...

MoS nov 2019 thumbnail deborah asha

How drug reform can cure our colonialist inclination

US justice reform activists Deborah Small and asha bandele say white supremacy and colonialism are at the heart of punitive drug laws. They ...

e substance newsletter promotional thumbnail

Sign-up for email updates

The latest New Zealand drug news, analysis and updates from us.

Subscribe now

Did You Know resources thumbnail

Did You Know

Conversation tools for parents, caregivers and youth workers to help your young person make safer decisions about drugs.

Learn more

Back to top