Stuff.co.nz 1 May 2012
The Government’s alcohol reform bill – in its final stages before Parliament – has been criticised as ”too timid”. Director of the National Addiction Centre Doug Sellman this afternoon suggested the bill was about to be returned to Parliament for its final stages. Justice Minister Judith Collins has since announced that it will have its final consideration next month. The bill would reduce the availability of and access to alcohol through measures like preventing the sale of liquor at convenience stores, she said. ”The changes support a shift in drinking culture, away from drinking to excess, towards responsible, moderate alcohol consumption.” The bill proposes also proposes a new “split age” for alcohol purchases – 20 years for off-licenses like supermarkets and 18 years for on-licenses like bars and restaurants. A range of other changes to liquor laws, including more community control over the concentration, location, and hours of sale for alcohol outlets is also proposed. New national maximum trading hours of 7am-11pm for off-licences and 8am-4am for on-licences and club licences would also be included.