Government response to booze is piss weak
What a waste of time, this Government have spent so much political capital building up the nanny state monster that they are terrified waking it in the mind of the dumb who believe in it, that's why the long awaited response to our booze culture is such a joke...
Government unveils new alcohol plans
Key changes include:
* A split alcohol purchase age of 18 for bars and 20 for off-licences.
* Banning the sale of pre-mixed RTDs that have more than 5 per cent alcohol or that contain more than 1.5 standard drinks.
* Making it an offence for anyone other than a parent or guardian to provide alcohol to an under-18-year-old without a parent's or guardian's consent.
* Allowing the Minister of Justice to ban alcohol products which are particularly appealing to minors or particularly dangerous to health. This is expected to apply to things like milk-based alcohol drinks or alcoholic ice-blocks.
* Allowing local communities to decide on their own "alcohol plan" with details about the concentration, location, and opening hours of alcohol outlets to be included.
* Default national opening hours of 7am - 11pm for off-licences and 8am - 4am for bars and clubs. Local alcohol plans can over-ride the hours, however, with longer or shorter hours if they wish.
* Changing the definition of "a grocery store" to make it very hard for a dairy to get a liquor licence.
* The proposal for a split purchase age would make New Zealand only the second country in the world to mandate separate ages by premises.
All the Government are saying is 'it's the kids fault' and have structured everything around that, nothing to stop the sale of booze in supermarkets, nothing to increase the price and this Government will continue to allow people to legally drive drunk with a blood alcohol level well in excess of many other developed countries.
Booze plans make youth 'scapegoat'
The Government is using youth as a "scapegoat" in alcohol reform rather than tackling the real problem of New Zealand's heavy drinking culture, addiction experts say. The director of Christchurch's National Addiction Centre, Professor Doug Sellman, said the Government was wrong to see alcohol abuse as essentially a youth problem.
Research found that 92 per cent of New Zealand's heavy drinkers were 20 years and over, and 70 per cent were 25 and over.
"Aiming measures primarily at youth while avoiding anything substantial that would reduce heavy drinking among adults is scapegoating young people for the country's heavy drinking culture and fails to address the main issue," he said.
The Government had avoided the big policy decisions, such as increasing prices and restricting advertising, and ended up with a package that was "like treating cancer with a couple of aspirin".
National are so terrified of being seen as 'nanny state' they are weakening important social policy to make it meaningless. What a wasted opportunity, these changes will do bugger all to reduce the harm booze does to society.