With alcohol being a major contributor to crime, violence and accidental death within New Zealand it is comforting to know that government is moving forward with alcohol reform recommendations made by the Law Commission.
Legislation introducing the change to a split drinking age will be introduced to Parliament today. The change, part of the Government’s response to a review by the Law Commission into the harm caused by alcohol, included splitting the alcohol purchasing age to 18 for bars and clubs and 20 off-licence purchases, limiting the alcohol content of RTDs, banning particularly harmful products and moving forward reducing opening hours.The only recommendation ruled out by the Government was increasing the excise tax on alcohol.
Spokesperson for Justice Minister Simon Power said the 225-page alcohol reform bill would be tabled in Parliament and it was in line with the Government’s reaction to the Law Commission report. The bill would possibly have its first reading next week.
Mr Power has said the bill would spend six months before a select committee for public consultation after its first reading.