The Law Commission has been preparing recommendations for Government to consider when it overhauls liquor laws later this year. Extensive public consultation has been undertaken by the Commission, which will release its report next Tuesday.
Various media have reported “leaks” of some of the measures that will be recommended. They include:
- a 50 percent hike in excise tax
- a ban on off-licence sales after 10pm
- raising the drinking age from 18 to 20
- no one allowed to enter bars and nightclubs after 2am
A so-called “five-plus solution” is promoted by the head of the National Addiction Centre, Professor Doug Sellman. His proposal includes raising alcohol prices, raising the purchase age, reducing alcohol accessibility, reducing marketing and advertising, plus increased treatment opportunities for heavy drinkers.
Hopefully there is sufficient public concern and political will for changes to be enacted.
In that light, it’s constructive that Alcohol Action Hawke’s Bay is sponsoring a public assembly next Monday night (Apr 26th), 7pm at the Memorial Rooms Clive Square, Napier.
Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Population Health, HBDHB, will speak on alcohol and health in Hawke’s Bay. Maxine Boag, Napier City Councillor will discuss the 5+ Solution for Law Reform. MP Chris Tremain will discuss the situation in Parliament and hopefully his stance on changing the liquor laws.
As Maxine says, this could be “our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence liquor Law reform.”
Here’s an excellent chance to get informed and make your views known to our elected representatives.