The Drinking Age

October 22nd, 2006 at 10:35 am by David Farrar

Parliament will soon get to vote again on the drinking age, or more correctly the alcohol purchase age which is a very different thing. There is in fact no age restriction on when people can drink alcohol if done on private property.

I am very much against increasing the age of purchase from 18 to 20. It is not only the wrong answer to the question of teenage binge drinking, but it may do harm as people are taking the easy way out of blaming the law on the age of purchase, instead of the real solutions such as parental responsibility, and proper funding and enforcement of current laws.

Banning 19 year olds from being able to have a wine or beer at a bar, because too many 14 and 15 year olds are getting hammered at private parties is as stupid as (for example) raising the age of consent for sex from 16 to 21 because too many 13 year olds are having babies.

Many of my student staff are under 20. Every six months or so I take them to the Malthouse for drinks paid for by the company, as thanks for their work. Never a big boozy session, just a couple of hours and a couple of drinks each. Now this law change would make that illegal.

No Right Turn has blogged on this issue, and has details of key MPs.

Frog Blog is also strongly against the Bill. Hopefully one of the Green MPs may act as an organiser for the Noes lobby, to try and get 61 votes against. I’d be happy to help them (or any MP) with this.

The NZ Herald has an article on the pros and cons.

And also have a laugh at Lyndon Hood’s satirical piece about raising the age to 41.

No tag for this post.

77 Responses to “The Drinking Age”

  1. ross () says:

    In most Western countries, the dribking age is 18. In parts of Europe, it is 16. Why are some MPs wanting to swim against the tide?

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  2. Porcupine () says:

    Who starts blogs? Please start one on the Herald Editorial supporting tolls.

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  3. Fletch () says:

    I have no doubt that there are very responsible young drinkers out there, but there are also those who use it as an excuse to get hammered on the weekend.
    I’d probably support the age being raised. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but to my mind the less young people drinking the less drink-driving and the less deaths on the road.

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  4. Spam () says:

    Changing the age is going to do little. They need to improve the enforcement, and to actually change the drinking culture.

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  5. Kent Parker () says:

    Drinking restrictions are not and need not be as simple as one single legal age. In DPF’s case, 18 year olds in the company of a person over 25 in a venue that serves food might be a legal activity. However a dozen 18 and 19 year olds in a night club that does not serve food (except to meet responsible host requirements) is a different matter all together.

    The drinking age was raised because 18 and 19 year olds were already drinking in licensed areas. The thinking was that lowering the drinking age simply stopped these people being ‘criminals’. However, now, 16 and 17 year olds slip into pubs, and so the public drinking age has lowered. The way it was when the age was 20 meant that police could ignore underage drinkers if there was no problem or act on them if there was.

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  6. mara () says:

    In lowering the drinking age to 18,I think Jenny Shipley and co. imagined the kids would frequent cafes,sip campari and ponder Satre or Proust.har har har…lol.

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  7. baxter () says:

    Kent..You have it exactly right. That is the way the law should be and usually was enforced . Mara is also correct. I remember Shipley making that statement. David is obviously her type of the National brand on this matter… naive… Together with weak judicial action the teenage drunkenness has become far worse since the age was lowered, there is no legal sanction between 14-17years and just like the boy racers teenagers are not going to pay any fines.Matters like this should reflect the will of the people i.e. a referendum, not the fancy of politicians.The issue is likely to be decided by a block vote of left-wingers with the support of the new Liberal wing of the National party.

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  8. Jono () says:

    Ok lets say that there are problem drinkers aged 18-20 so you stop them drinking in bars..they will just drink at private properties and find other ways to get blotto…and a lot of the people I see getting thrown out of bars for being drunk are aged 30-50. This is clearly not going to change this law iis ridiculous and all the government is doing is responding to the fact that people are worried bout drinking so they say this will fix it…BULLSHIT!!!

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  9. Cadmus () says:

    Many here wish to follow in the footsteps of the USA.
    Well thats 21 yrs guys. Plus ID on demand if the owner or bar staff wish from “anyone” who wish to drink in a bar or take away from a Liquor store.

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  10. Ross Bell () says:

    DPF – those of us advocating raising the age don’t think it’s the only answer, but it’s certainly one key part of the answer. There is a tonne of good evidence supporting raising the age – which is probably why the committee made a consensus report (the only minority report was from National, and that was to do with who regulates alcohol advertising).

    Baxter – are the 20-odd new National MPs liberals or moral conservatives? I’ve been trying to figure that one out, because they will be key to whether the bill passes unchanged or not.

    FYI – we’re surveying all MPs on this issue. We think it’s important they disclose their intentions, because, unfortunately most parties treat alcohol policy as a conscience issue (we think there’s enough good evidence for parties to develop alcohol policy as part of their party’s health policy).

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  11. side show bob () says:

    As usual if it doesn’t work the first thing that is called for is to make new law, with a long list of of accompanying penatlties.

    For fucks sake when are we ever going to learn, we have more laws then you can poke a stick at but I notice there dosen’t seem to be a hell of a lot lawabidying going on. The present laws in place would surfice if they are acted on with the full force of the law and the courts and were fully backed by the panty wearers in government. Introducing or changing law will do sqwat all. The problem lies with the attitude of the state in enforcing laws.

    If the problem is youth drinking then get tough, zero tolerance. Come down hard on anyone suppling booze to minors, lock up kids with even a wiff of alcohol on their breath, a few nights in a cell soon changes your attitude, espeacially if it’s over the weekend.

    We don,t need a law change we need a government change.

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  12. mara () says:

    ….btw Shipley was a dental nurse not an A&E experienced nurse,which might have made a difference to her thinking.
    I’ve got an idea.Don’t larf..it’s pragmatic;why not raise the legal age to 25 and be done with it?Forget ID.Enforcement being the joke that it is and will always be,the police will have a much easier time by just concentrating on people who look younger than about 20.Bingo!

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  13. Chris () says:

    Ross Bell – you can rest asssured there will be a strong campaign against the wowserism and moral puritanism you and your ilk promote. You simply think young people cannot be trusted and have no notion of the sense of individual responsibility. Answer me this Ross – why should an 18 year old be allowed to vote, get married, and die for their country, but not have a drink in a bar? Doesn’t that seem wrong to you?

    If 15 year olds are the problem then get police to enforce the laws properly so 15 year olds can’t drink and can’t get access to alcohol.

    Also answer me this – given drinking is apparently a problem throughout the whole of society, why not ban alcohol completely?

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  14. Ross Bell () says:

    Chris – first time the Drug Foundation’s been call a moral puritan. Cool.

    Since lowering of the age: 18-19 are now NZ’s heaviest drinkers; more young people dying on raods from drink-driving (at a time when other rates decreasing; young people are drinking more and mroe often (the culture has changed); increased alcohol-related hospitalisations, alcohol violence etc.

    There’s enough reason for policy and law-makers to be looking at any and every way we can turn that around.

    The ‘evidence’ (and there’s shit loads) tells us a higher purchase age (properly enforced) is ONE of the things we can do to address the problem. The Drug Foundation advocates for more than just the age. Happy to flick you our submission to the Law & Order Committee.

    When was the last time we sent 18 years olds to war? What’s the average age of marriage? What’s the age of criminal responsibility? When does your parents’ income no longer matter for student allowance entitlement? There are many things where different ages are used to determine rights and access.

    Yep, minors drinking is a problem – and that needs to be addressed through enforcement and parental responsibility. So yes, enforcement of the law is one other thing we should add to the mix. Higher purcahse age another; price; marketing; number of licenses; trained bar staff…

    As for total prohibition? You’re not that silly are you?

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  15. Chris () says:

    I’m happy to call you a moral puritan because it is only people and groups driven by
    puritanical and paternalistic zeal that can promote such non-sensical policy.

    I am happy to accept those things have happened since the age was lowered. However the genie is now out of the bottle. Raising the age is not going to cure all those problems (and yes I know you want to do many more things) at the same time.

    All you’re going to do is arguably make those problems worse. You’ll make 18 year olds to drink under bridges with their mates ‘cos they can’t get into bars. 19 year olds will drink bottles of vodka in their flats and drive home instead of taking taxis into town. They’ll beat up their partners at home or in back alleys instead of being restrained by the police on Courtney Place. It is sadly ironic that what you propose will do the exact opposite of what you suggest.

    Regarding age limits on things, the point is not that we actually do send 18 year olds to war (I have no idea as to the average of of soldiers in Timor, etc, but I reckon there are probably some very young people there) but that they CAN join the army, train, and fight if need be. We consider them old enough to send them war and to foreign climes. The same point applies with marriage. The question is not “What is the average of marry” but “at what age do we consider people responsible enough to get married”.

    Regarding student allowances, parental income testing stops at the age of 25. That’s stupid as well and I would advocate for an end to that.

    I agree there are different ages for different entitlements but you have completely failed to address why a society that thinks you are mature enough to VOTE (and what right/privilege is more important than that?), at the same time says you’re not allowed to have a quiet drink.

    The Bill is also abhorrent because of what you are doing with accrued rights. As it stands 18 year olds able to drink legally now, will not be allowed to once the Bill receives the Royal assent and comes into force. So rights currently accrued by those people will be arbitrarly and unfairly taken away by legislative fiat out of a miguided sense of helping them. That’s a disgrace.

    Of course I’m not for total prohibition. I was seeking to point out though that if alcohol is such a major problem (as you think) and if it is so prevalent throughout all age groups and parts of society then why not just ban it all together. It comes back to the point I made before. It is not just 18/19 year olds that are the problem. It is 15 year olds drinking, and it is 56 year old binge drinkers. It is a whole of society issue.

    We need a more mature approach alcohol. Paternalism like you promote is not the answer, it is part of the problem.

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  16. Ross Bell () says:

    Chris, while there are groups who will lobby for the age increase on moral grounds, we’re not one of them.

    The Drug Foundation has a long history of advocating for good drug policy based on the best evidence available – we’re respected by all political parties, for example, for our work. So I won’t accept the puritanical/paternalistic tag for our position on the age.

    There is a heap of good reason why, when it comes to alcohol policy, we should target young people.

    In respect to the ‘licenced premises provide safe drinking environment’ arguement: evidence doesn’t back this up. The hospitality industry is yet to prove themselves on that one.

    Again, I think there’s plenty of reason why policy/law makers should use the purchase age as one tool to address the harm (because the evidence supports this). That’s why the old enough to vote, not old enough to buy contradiction can be used. (While you describe it as a ‘quiet drink’, I repeat, 18-19 year olds are now this country’s heaviest drinkers).

    Again, happy to flick you our evidence and submission on all of this.

    The risk with posting on DPF’s site is getting into these discussions. This is my last post for today. Happy to pick it up tomorrow.

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  17. kiwi in america () says:

    My 2c worth is that the US experience with a lowered drinking age has some relevance to this debate. Most states lowered their drinking ages to 18 in the mid 70’s. This led to a noticeable increase in traffic fatalities and injury accidents for 15 – 18 year old drivers. In 1985 the Federal Govt here coerced the States to raise the drinking age to 21 by linking such a law change to massive highway funding grants to the States. The previouly elevated road deaths and injuries to this age cohort gradually reduced to the same equivalent percentage levels seen before the lowering of the drinking age (allowing for population increase in the interim).

    I am not advocating a 21 year old drinking age but there is some similarity with the NZ situation. Road deaths for the 15- 20 yr old age cohort in NZ were declining steadily in line with the decline in the overall road toll but this trend has reversed since NZ’s drinking age was lowered. Add to this the documented doubling of admissions to hospital emergency rooms for U18 alcohol poisoning and there appears to be a real cost to this policy.

    Responsible drinking cannot be magically legislated and some naively thought we could emulate Europe’s centuries old more responsible attitudes to adolescent alcohol use by the stroke of a legal pen. Yes – societal attitudes to alcohol lead to teenage abuse and in the long term, education is the answer to ‘Europeanising’ teenage drinking. In the meantime, raising the drinking age will improve mortality and morbidity in a vulnerable age group notwithstanding all the arguements about being able to vote, borrow money and fight in a war.

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  18. james.c () says:

    Why not put it up one year every year on January 1st, starting this coming January?

    Or, why don’t we legalise all substances, however limit the age for use on the harm the particular substance can cause?

    So,
    alcohol 18?
    cannabis 21?
    acid 25?
    mushrooms 28?
    nicotene 29?
    ecstacy 31?
    meth 45?
    heroin 57?

    Does this not follow the ‘raise the age’ reasoning?

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  19. Chuck Bird () says:

    The issue should be who decides if the drinking age should be raised – the MPs or the people. The was some arguement for MPs voting on conscience issus with FPP. There is none with MMP.

    Some MPs in a left wing party may be very conservative on some issues and some MPs in a right wing party may be quite liberal.

    The voter has no way of knowing this or knowing what conscience issues will be voted on over a three year term.

    How many on this blog think that most Mps have mosr of a conscience than they do?

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  20. Hoss () says:

    According to the National Institute of Mental Health (USA), higher order brain function (pre-frontal cortex, responsible for sensory interpretation and reason) does not fully mature until around age 25. I suspect the “they’re old enough to vote aren’t they?” argument is thus a simplistic and convenient red herring. I am in favour of reviewing ALL ages of consent for EVERYTHING in light of this research. Chris, the National Drug Foundation have released an 8 Point Plan for reducing substance use harm – Ross, you may want to post this up? I’m also curious as to why Chris you rail against anything “moral” – as by doing so, you expose your own morality in the process, which seems very “pure” indeed in its somewhat anarchistic tendancies.

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  21. sid () says:

    I grew up in NZ when the age was 20, didnt stop us trying to destroy ourselves in the w/e when we were 17.

    Having lived outside of NZ for a few years where the attitude to drinking is not that of the binge culture of the UK and former colonies, I must say it is very refreshing to not be confronted with the mess that invades the streets at night in the weekends in NZ.

    As in most drug related issues, it is a matter of education. I don’t understand why the fact that regulation has proven to always fail in influencing human attitudes to drug taking is ignored by politicians. Playing around with things like age of consent (and all aspects of legal status actually, it has never deterred me from trying anything i can get my hands on) is in the long run inconsequential.

    Do you want to have faith in your children’s ability to think for themselves, or to rely on them to (not) do something because, even though it looks very appealing, they are told they cannot?

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  22. pdq () says:

    DPF, you are exactly right. I recall drinking at 19 at the Cook and Gardies without getting into any trouble, nor feeling the urge to “binge” as they call it now (well, once or twice excepted ;)) and that is largely because social drinking was actually encouraged by and with my parents. I think that drinking has been demonised by a generation of parents aided and abetted by ALAC, which is a shame. All that we are seeing is the result of younger people not having been brought up with moderate social drinking being an ordinary thing to do. No wonder some can’t do it responsibly.

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  23. Stuart () says:

    When the drinking age was lowered we were told that with the need for ID’s etc that the age limit would be well policed.

    Ask any 17 year old if they know either who has the fake ID to let them buy alcohol or which alcohol outlet in your area is very tardy abouts checking ID’s.
    The Police and others have in the past had attempted purchase stings with underage drinklers. When caught the sellers say but they looked over 18. Here in CHCH a group of sellers even when to court to attempt to stop their operations being closed down for two days ( the normal punishment for this offence).

    I have never seen a report of a holder of a faked ID used to buy alcohol being brought before the courts.
    I can think of only one case of an adult being brought before the courts for purchasing alcohol for a minor( Gore car crash/manslaughter case)

    We seem to have the laws in places lets use them.

    Let the sellers know that yes we will monitor you and close you down if you can not follow some very simple steps in regards to age verifacation.

    Let the “Adult” providors of alcohol to underaged persons know that we will expect you to be responsible for the actions of the people you supply acohol to.

    Let the holders of Fake ID’s know that if you a caught with one in a Bar or attempting to purchase Alcohol with one there is no diversion no slap on the hand but there is Court there is Community Service and a Criminal Record until you are covered by Phil Goffs law of disclosure.

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  24. tim barclay () says:

    If I had my way I would ban alcohol completely. But 18 year olds are frequently still at school and are mixing with much younger people. The effective drinking age is much lower than 18 which is just the “headline” drinking age. I would ban anyone under the age of 25 from purchasing alcohol from an “off license” but they could go to bars and restuarants and purchase alcohol for consumption on the premisis. I would also put restrictions on anyone under the age of 25 from possessing alcohol in a public place. Most incidents of alcohol I accept are in a private home, but the police should have greater powers in dealing with alcohol related incidents in private homes including removing people who are intoxicated if a complaint is made.

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  25. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Tim Barclay. I seem to remember the day when it was an offense to consume alcohol in public. This certainly had a deterent effect on excessively bad behavior. We seem to have suffered from a headlong rush to establish rights and freedoms with little thought, if any, given to how those freedoms adversely impinge upon others. Well, that’s the great sin of socialism for you.

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  26. iiq374 () says:

    I think it is quite important for the supporters to acutally differentiate between the reasons for raising the age, as there are two different things being brought up.

    The first – which is a non-sensical reason for supporting is the 15-17 year old drinking increases. This is a reason for better enforcement of the existing rules and getting it to the point where it actually is no ID, no service. People also really shouldn’t fool themselves that this is a brand new problem. We knew at 15 / 16 exactly where you went with who to get alcohol in 95/96 which was well before the lowering of the age. To the point you knew which bottle shops would still serve you while in school uniform…

    The second reason which is around the binge drinking in general, or amongst 18/19 year olds at least have a point – even if I don’t agree with the conclusions.

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  27. pita () says:

    It seems as thought this argument has gone full circle. If my memory serves me well a compelling part of the debate supporting the lowering of the age was to bring underage drinkers into the safety of a controlled/supervised environment.

    To revert back is not going to change anything nor bring about a greater sense of responsibility amongst those few (not the many) who currently grab the headlines.

    As has been suggested by others perhaps we should consider the appropriate enforcement of the law rather than a change.

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  28. Bob Howard () says:

    When I see the film on TV of young kids drunk in the streets late at night I wonder where the parents are. It seems to me discipline and care of young people is more important than the liquor buying age.

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  29. hayman () says:

    Who said Jenny Shipley was a dental nurse ?. I understand she started her career as a primary school teacher, as stated in the excellent PM biograhies on http://www.primeminister.govt.nz/oldpms/index.html. (Which DPF was involved with)

    It was a reflection of the sexism of the times that capable young women went into only teaching, nursing etc. Nowdays there are a vast number of possible starter careers for young women.

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  30. Ben Wilson () says:

    Tim, Adolf, alcohol prohibition was tried and it didn’t work. The more limited prohibition that you suggest also doesn’t work. In fact, no laws on alcohol consumption, or any kind of popular drug consumption, are working, or ever have. All they do is give us some kind of powers when said comsumption has got out of hand, to imprison the offenders.

    The law is a very blunt and expensive instrument. The causes of drug misuse go so far beyond the law, it’s enforcement and it’s remedies, that I find this entire debate farcical.

    As a kid, I frequented bars and night clubs since the age of 14. I got smashed more times than I can remember. All of it was illegal, yet that was no deterrent whatsoever. This was also the case for most of my peer group, as was consumption in private places, either from purchased alcohol or home-made.

    Some of my peer group were the squarest, most right wing people you could meet, but they did it every bit as much, and in some cases more, than me, so it’s nothing to do with being a flippin socialist, just want to head that old chestnut off at the pass.

    It came down to having a good time, in the way that we had seen adults doing it since a very young age. The excessive consumption of alcohol is simply imprinted on most kiwis. It had very little to do with demographics. Rich kids just had more expensive drinks.

    The problem of alcohol addiction is 100 times the size of anything laws alone can deal with. It involves a massive cultural shift. And you may find the culture is just against you even trying, one of the unfortunate consequences of democracy.

    I’m personally an abstainer now. I find the effects of alcohol less and less agreeable as time passes. But I refuse to try to turn the law on the next generation of children, mainly because it just doesn’t work. My abstinence is a personal choice.

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  31. Logix () says:

    Alcohol is a chemical antidote to the unpleasant emotional sensations of fear. There are also addictive consequences and huge genetic variability in how easily people become addicted….but the cause of alcohol abuse is fear.

    Ben is 100% correct. The law is a completely impotent tool in the face of this.

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  32. Adolf Fiinkensein () says:

    On the contrary Kent, it has everything to do with the worst features of socialism, evinced by people’s having been encouraged to demand rights and freedoms with what seems token or nonexistant encouragement for the same people, especially the parents of errant kids, to exibihit any sense of resonsibility. This subliminal message has been rammed home by the current administration’s unprincipled struggle to retain power at all costs. What a great example it has been. We are simply reaping what socialists have sown.

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  33. hayman () says:

    Alcopops are part of the problem: make the high ( added ) sugar content illegal. No longer will appeal to teenagers who are very sugar oriented.
    I would do the same with tobacco, make them take out the ‘sweetners’ such as honey etc that are added to appeal to teenagers and you would have a whole generation that are put off by the (true)taste of addictive substances.

    This is why we restrict access to harmful addictive substances. It has nothing to do with 18 being the age to go off and fight wars or get married or driving cars (16).

    The advertising of alcohol needs to balanced by extra advertising of the harm alcohol(in excess) causes. Make the promoters of alcohol pay for these ads on a one for one basis.
    So instead of a couple of cross dressers sneaking into a brewery we have a couple of teenagers who fall through plate glass windows or are shunned by the girls because they are drunk arseholes

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  34. burt () says:

    Cadmus wades into the debate, unarmed as usual.

    ”Many here wish to follow in the footsteps of the USA.
    Well thats 21 yrs guys. Plus ID on demand if the owner or bar staff wish from “anyone” who wish to drink in a bar or take away from a Liquor store.

    Which many is that? Where did that come from? Anyway, as far as the US go it’s much better to make a fool of ones self in front of them (and the world) than to follow them. Point taken.

    But as for raising the drinking age… well good distraction from the mega over spending debacle, good chance to get some social responsibility points after the absolute contempt Parliament has shown for the public recently. Lucky break for the PR machine, but I think as spam so clearly pointed out.

    ”Changing the age is going to do little. They need to improve the enforcement, and to actually change the drinking culture.”

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  35. Andrew Davies () says:

    Lets try something different.
    Reinvigorate the offense to be drunk in a public place and ENFORCE it.
    Couple that with a requirement to be responsible for all financial consequences of damage caused while drunk (for all ages). This means paying hospital bills, vandalism, car damage et al. Even the costs of the justice system. If we really want to change the drinking culture we must first change the incentives starting with an expectation of personal responsibility.
    Hell, with such a system I might support the removal of all age restrictions.

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  36. Jeff () says:

    I think I would prefer a drinking age of 20, but what I disagree strongly with is the view that people aged 18 are mature enough to vote (and hence help decide how much tax I am to pay) but they are not mature enough to be able to go to the pub.

    I would like to see some consistency.

    Jeff

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  37. Jeff () says:

    I think I would prefer a drinking age of 20, but what I disagree strongly with is the view that people aged 18 are mature enough to vote (and hence help decide how much tax I am to pay) but they are not mature enough to be able to go to the pub.

    I would like to see some consistency.

    Jeff

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  38. Jeff () says:

    I think I would prefer a drinking age of 20, but what I disagree strongly with is the view that people aged 18 are mature enough to vote (and hence help decide how much tax I am to pay) but they are not mature enough to be able to go to the pub.

    I would like to see some consistency.

    Jeff

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  39. Jeff () says:

    I think I would prefer a drinking age of 20, but what I disagree strongly with is the view that people aged 18 are mature enough to vote (and hence help decide how much tax I am to pay) but they are not mature enough to be able to go to the pub.

    I would like to see some consistency.

    Jeff

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  40. iiq374 () says:

    Fiddling the drinking age is going to be just as effective at stopping alcohol abuse as micro-chipping registered dogs is for stopping dog attacks.

    Sort out the enforcement first; then look at fine tuning what is being enforced.

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  41. uk_kiwi () says:

    Unintended consequences should be carefully considered- if this goes through, will teenagers, having legislation saying “You can’t be trusted”, simply take P instead? If you believe what you read in the papers half of auckland now takes that stuff.

    You could argue there is a correlation in the US, teen drug use and resulting street crime and gang culture exploded after the raising of the drinking age there (correlation not equalling causation of course).

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  42. DD () says:

    The Nats sure made a mistake with this one, yes NZ is behind the rest of the world in the case of the drinking age, but we also have a very large polynesian and maori population in Auckland and they were and are clearly NOT READY for the drinking age to be lowered.

    The police will agree with me,, just look at the increase in violent crime since the age was lowered, I hate to say this but if we were not a multicultural society the lowering of the age would have worked fine.

    sorry about that,but you know im right.

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  43. mara () says:

    I am sick to death of this argument..it happens every time.Whatever the legal age,18 or 40, bloody well enforce it!Otherwise just go to bed,have a
    wank and think of England.

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  44. Sean () says:

    I agree with DPF in that it is the drinking culture needing a change, not the law. Typical kneejerk reaction. Problem is, how?

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  45. Jessie James () says:

    Itis my opinion that the binge drinking is simply evidence of a breakdown of morals and discipline in New Zealand society.

    It is no longer PC to show discipline or accept discpline from elders. eg; no more physical punishment in schools. It is no longer PC to have morals eg; Mark Ellis being voted best NZ entertainer soon after being convicted for drug possession.

    When I was young, I was taught that real men hold their liquor and don’t get obnoxiously drunk. Most men in my day quickly learned their limit and showed restraint. I started drinking when I was 16 years old. Binge drinking was usually only associated with those who had emotional issues or low morals.

    Young people today lack the discipline and modern society does not provide the emotional security it once did. In my view the reasons for heavy drinking have not changed just there are now more people with emotional problems and confused role models.

    Raising the age back up to 20 or 21 at best will only have a minimal temporary affect. Over the last twelve months, on occasions, I have visited the night clubs in Tauranga for a bit of R&R. After 12am things go crazy, the number of drunk people walking around is incredible and dangerous. It is not a safe place to be after 12am. These are not just young people between 18 and 20 years of age. They range from 18 to 35 year olds. I was shocked and now leave before 11pm.

    The fabric of our society is slowly disintergrating as accuraelty illustrated by the recent election over spending by Labour, retrospective legislation and lies. Where are the morals for our young people to aspire to in that dirty little episode?

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  46. Jessie James () says:

    Itis my opinion that the binge drinking is simply evidence of a breakdown of morals and discipline in New Zealand society.

    It is no longer PC to show discipline or accept discpline from elders. eg; no more physical punishment in schools. It is no longer PC to have morals eg; Mark Ellis being voted best NZ entertainer soon after being convicted for drug possession.

    When I was young, I was taught that real men hold their liquor and don’t get obnoxiously drunk. Most men in my day quickly learned their limit and showed restraint. I started drinking when I was 16 years old. Binge drinking was usually only associated with those who had emotional issues or low morals.

    Young people today lack the discipline and modern society does not provide the emotional security it once did. In my view the reasons for heavy drinking have not changed just there are now more people with emotional problems and confused role models.

    Raising the age back up to 20 or 21 at best will only have a minimal temporary affect. Over the last twelve months, on occasions, I have visited the night clubs in Tauranga for a bit of R&R. After 12am things go crazy, the number of drunk people walking around is incredible and dangerous. It is not a safe place to be after 12am. These are not just young people between 18 and 20 years of age. They range from 18 to 35 year olds. I was shocked and now leave before 11pm.

    The fabric of our society is slowly disintergrating as accuraelty illustrated by the recent election over spending by Labour, retrospective legislation and lies. Where are the morals for our young people to aspire to in that dirty little episode?

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  47. mara () says:

    jessie james;With my manifest and galloping failings,I should be the last person on earth to moralise..I leave that to tele-evangalists and other rapacious,fiddling fools,but I suspect that what you say is not altogether wrong.Now that I’m,erm,grown up,I look about for signs of intelligence in legislation and see very little.

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  48. sally () says:

    A change in drinking culture not legislation is what is needed.

    Let’s face it, Pakeha New Zealand settlers were a combination of boozing Irish mixing with puritanical Anglo-Scots – hardly a great combination and where alcohol was treated as an all or nothing affair.

    I came from European parents who were horrified at the binge culture and the infamous ‘six o’clock swill’. They themselves were hassled for drinking glass or two of wine with their meal as oppossed to drinking gallons of beer aimlessly. Remember that women were banned from many pubs or were only allowed into the ‘Lounge Bar’ if accompanied by a man.

    The combination of sinfulness around drink led to rebellious unhinged drinking combined with anti-women sentiment, hardly made for a confident cultured average Kiwi bloke.

    An additional problem these days is women, mainly under the age of 30, who have taken to drinking alcohol, fuelled with the mantra of “Girls can do anything” to match men with competitive one on one drinking. I hear women boast of being able to drink their male colleagues/friends/boyfriend under the table, this nouveau feminist machoism is hardly a service to women. We can’t process alcohol as fast and as effectively as men and the number of alleged sexual assaults of drunk women is almost a daily occurence in the media.

    Moderate drinking needs to be marketed as the domain of the suave and sophisticated, while those that get chunderingly drunk and bellicose are seen as bogan losers. While the Drink-Drive message has permeated the conscience of most NZers it has taken at least two generations to do so, and I am afraid that moderate, socially good natured drinking will also take just as long to take root.

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  49. Insolent Prick () says:

    Nobody has identified the key outrage in this legislation:

    My target market constitutes hot chicks generally of the ages of 18-22, in bars. This Bill will cut that market in half. Assholes!

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  50. sonic () says:

    So IP has to get girls drunk before he has a chance with them?

    What a surprise!

    xxx

    S

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  51. Ben Wilson () says:

    IP has a point. One of the only attractions to bars is that there might be drunk young chicks there to crack on to. And drunk young guys with beer goggles for the mullets.

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  52. ChickenLittle () says:

    2 ‘been waiting a long time’ on this thread

    – IP mentioning hot chicks after several months(at least) of worrying about politics.

    and

    – Logix is back from the re-education camp.

    On topic –

    Prohibition doesn’t work.

    I like a drink or two and go out quite often(when mum says its OK :)) The main problem I see is that youngsters (who seem to cause most of the problems)get pissed BEFORE they go out so when they hit the bars they’ve already had enough. The Bars of course are in a tough position as turning them away is turning away business.
    I think I would probaly support a raising in the age of people buying from Supermarkets and Bottle stores to 20 but keeping the bar age at 18.Many under 18’s get booze from friends that are just 18yrs whereas many 20 year olds don’t hang out with 16-17yo much.

    I went to my first pub at 15(the old Barretts on Lampton Quay)and never stopped after that but we would never drink on the streets or congregate on the street outside a bar(how uncool).

    Times have changed and I guess we need a law that reflects that. The present one doesn’t seem to be working to well.

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  53. Lizzie Tully () says:

    Lowering the drinking age is effecting the younger generation so shouldn’t we be asked what we want and what we classify as safe?! As an 18 year old from New Zealand i have been a witness to both parties and the ‘pubing’ or ‘clubing’ scene and i can definatly say from experience that i find going to town with friends to bars feels like an extremely safer place than ANY party i have been to. Why? One of the main issues that are being used as a reason to lower the drinking age is teenage binge drinking which i will agree is dangerous as it sends people crazy, provokes violence and leads to serious health threats BUT to me pubing allows a safer enviroment as pubs will reject anyone to intoxicated, they are extremely thorough on id’s as they risk a $10,000 fine meaning that under age drinkers are minimised, ‘bouncers’ stop and prevent violence and finally being in a public area rather than stranded at a party is a safer place to get help if in trouble. There is however the other issue of simply purchasing it, yes people buy alcahol for minors but that will happen wether the age is 18 or 20. Age difference between friends is becoming more and more normal in a social scene and not only friends but random public members, siblings and parents are purchasing alcahol for youngers. Also what stops a minor from dipping into a liquor cabinet? The final thing i would like to say is that isn’t it extremely unfair to allow 18 year olds the rights to purchasing alcahol and going to pubs and then when the bill passes disallowing that. I think that changing this law is absoloutly ridiculous and will cause more harm thean good,

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  54. eL () says:

    can anyone tell me why nz has such a bad drinking culture?

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  55. eL () says:

    actually how do you fix nz’s bad drinking culture?–

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  56. SPC () says:

    If parliament passes this into law, I hope someone takes it to the Supreme Court and has it struck down – as in breach of the Human Rights Act – which bars discrimination based on age in law (and marital status, employment status, poilitical creed, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion etc). All over 18 are supposed to be equal before the law. The Governor General can be appealed to – to not sign this into law on this ground.

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  57. Robbie () says:

    yes, but im most Western developed countries the average 18 has far more responsabilities than the average New Zealanders. it is a fact.
    University is a serious business not a strip club. Has been made clear that we Kiwis are incopetents and uncapable to live up to the standards of serious responsabilities.

    We are a nation where teenagers are granted adult rights but not responsabilities.

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  74. Megan () says:

    Changing the drinking age lower wouldn’t be a good idea because then younger teenegers would drink more alcohol just to prove they are cool.

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  75. Megan () says:

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  76. Megan () says:

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  77. sammyclarke404 (1 comment) says:

    why should the 18-21yrs olds get punished for the 12-17yrs olds drinking illegally?! By law at 18 you are an adult. Does that mean this wlould have to change as well? otherwise being 18 and not being able to choose to have an alcoholic drink or not wouldnt make sense, because as an adult you make decissions for yourself. Look the kids underage get the alcohol now, up-ing the age isnt going to stop them getting it! Im 17 and i know that i could get hold of alcohol easily from older people if i wanted it, just like many other teens underage. If the age was 21 I could still get it just as easily! it makes no difference! I am angry about this issue as i am 18 next yr and at the moment what i would like to be doing on a friday or saturday night is going into town for a couple of drinks as clubs/pubs are nice places to socialise. I just dont think its fair that the “adults” could be punished for the behaviour of the underage “teenagers”
    I agree with anyone who thinks that more ID cards should be asked to be seen by shopkeepers etc. There is the polisy of “challenge 21″ if you look younger than 21 then you will be asked for ID…simple! Fair enough there could be the issue of people looking older…then make it “challenge 30″ then there would be no problem!!!

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