The alcohol law reform packaage

August 23rd, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Have been in the lockup for the Government’s response to the Law Commission report on . It is one of the largest cabinet papers on record, with a huge 202 recommendations. The Minister has obviously spent a lot of time going through the issues.

The zealots have already slammed the report because the Government did not implement everything the Law Commission recommended. I say thank God for that. The previous Labour Government commissioned that report, from a body headed up by a former Labour Prime Minister.  Why on earth a National Government would be expected to do everything they say, I don’t know.

We have elections in this country to decide policies, and I am glad the Government has not gone down the total nanny state path. In some areas they have gone done that path, but nowhere near as bad as it could have been.

If Labour want to campaign at the next election to ban Tui billboards, outlaw alcohol sponsorship of sports, hike the alcohol excise tax by 50%, make it a crime for a 19 year old to have a glass of wine with his/her parents in a restaurant and force bars to have a one way policy at 2 am, then that would make my day. The alcohol zealots should encourage Labour to promise that, and then the people can decide at the election.

So what is in the Government’s proposals.

  1. More powers for local authorities to set a local alcohol policy which will determine locations for licenses premises, trading hours etc. This is sensible in my opinion as the needs of Wainuiomata (for example) may be very different to Courtenay Place.
  2. Tighter criteria for off-licenses so only eligible are retailers where alcohol is 85% of sales or grocery stores where food is 50% of sales, or hotels/taverns – unless there are a lack of premises in the area. Again, no real issues with this.
  3. Provision of free drinking water a requirement for premises which sell alcohol for consumption on the premises. At present this is a custom, not a requirement.
  4. A maximum trading hours for off-licenses of 7 am to 11 pm. I don’t support this, but am glad they at least changed it from 10 pm to 11 pm. I often am doing supermarket shopping at 10 pm, so will be able to grab a bottle of wine still.
  5. Maximum trading hours for on-licenses from 8 am to 4 pm. Again I don’t support this, but it is only an hour earlier than the de facto 5 am close most places have. It isn’t true nothing good happens after 4 am – ironically by that time of the night you are normally on non alcohol drinks sobering up. So forcing a closure at 4 am may in fact make things worse.
  6. Rejected the proposed one way policy from 2 am. Thank goodness for that. It would have destroyed Courtenay Place as you wouldn’t be able to have outside drinking areas under such a policy.  It would also have led to all sorts of problems as people can’t catch up with their friends etc.
  7. Local authorities can vary the national trading hours (both shorter or longer) if they wish. So Queenstown for example might set a time beyond 4 am. However their decision can be appealed for reasonableness. I think this is good flexibility.
  8. Parliament loses it exemption from liquor licensing laws.
  9. Split purchase age of 18 for on-license and 20 for off-license. This will be a conscience vote. This is better than a 20/20 age but is quite deeply flawed. As one looks at the details one will still be able to supply alcohol to 18 and 19 year olds (just not sell it directly) so it will create a culture of supplying alcohol to those who can not legally buying it. You will hear more on this point.
  10. Ironically 19 year olds will be able to sell alcohol in supermarkets and bottlestores, but not buy it! To be fair, currently a 17 year old can sell alcohol also.
  11. Parents can continue to supply alcohol to their own children at home, or in any private setting or at certain licenses premises such as restaurants.
  12. Under 18 year olds can not possess or drink alcohol in public, unless with a parent. This will be a $200 infringement.
  13. Consent of a parent is needed to supply alcohol to an under 18 year old, and supply without consent can be a $2,000 fine. Long overdue – finally it is an offence to give a 14 year old a bottle of vodka.
  14. The adult who supplies alcohol (with consent) to under 18 year olds must do so responsibly and supervise the consumption. Again – long overdue. This is what may have made a difference to the Kings College case.
  15. The 50% increase in excise tax is rejected. Yay. I have yet to see a compelling economic analysis that the current excise tax does not cover the external costs of alcohol.
  16. A minimum price regime will be considered in a year’s time once they gather data from retailers. I have some sympathy for a minimum price regime, as loss-leading on alcohol isn’t that desirable. It is a better response than an across the board excise tax increase.
  17. Will be an offence to promote excessive consumption of alcohol or to advertise in a way that appeals to those under the purchase age. Also can not promote free alcohol or make purchase of alcohol mandatory for other goods and services.
  18. The recommendation to have a total ban on all alcohol advertising and sponsorship has been rejected and sent back to Russia. Having said that I do think the current ASA code on alcohol advertising is ineffective and do actually support there being some sort of penalties for advertisements that breach the code. At present the only penalty is the advert gets withdrawn.
  19. Makes it an offence with a fine of up to $2,000 to make a false representation of age. So having a fake ID could not be very expensive. Also an offence to lend someone your ID so they appear 20.
  20. They have rejected the proposed $200 fine for people who spend the night in the cells detoxing. I like this proposal but the argument against is it would cost more to set up the fine system, than it would bring in, and also it may discourage drunk people from approaching the Police for assistance – which could lead them to more harm.
  21. The Ministers of Justice and Health can ban certain products deemed undesirable such as alcoholic milk, or alcoholic iceblocks. I never knew one could get alcoholic milk!
  22. RTDs to be a maximum 5% and also a maximum 1.5 standard drinks. This is also a good move, as it was the RTDs that had four or five standard drinks in them which were plastering people. At 1.5 standard drinks they actually become difficult to get too drunk off.

Overall, it could have been a lot worse – some stuff I don’t like, but they have rejected the worst excesses of the zealots. There are a lot of things there that will help – especially banning supply to under 18 year olds without consent or supervision.

I’ll blog more on this over time. But I think has done a pretty good job with this one. As I said at the beginning, Labour will make my day if they campaign on implementing the entire Law Commission report.

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129 Responses to “The alcohol law reform packaage”

  1. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Utterly bloody pointless tweaking of laws that are not being enforced now.

    Laws do nothing unless they are enforced and altering them does even less.

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  2. dime (10,204 comments) says:

    quick question, kinda relevant.

    anyone know what happens to waitakeres alcohol laws once the super city starts? at the moment, supermarkets cant sell alcohol, all the bottle shops and pubs are owned by a trust etc

    toad?? youre a westie! any idea?

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  3. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Fuck National and fuck the nanny state that they promised to abolish.

    I don’t commit crimes at 5am when I drink martinis and my hangover is my only punishment. I am an adult. Why take away that freedom? Why not have better policing instead?

    The real problem is parents supplying their kids with alcohol and not being accountable. If a parent could be sued for the consequences of doing that, you wouldn’t need these stupid laws that punish law abiding people who just want to have fun and party all night :-)

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  4. James (1,299 comments) says:

    This anti drinking hysteria is getting retarded.Limiting bottlestores will have the consequence of people driving further while already drunk to restock…nice one zealots.If there are more than a few bottlestores in you local area theres a reason…People in your area WANT to drink,its the market at work.Fuck off out of it and leave them to it.It used to be a free country….(I hear).

    Dropping the leagal limit will not stop one determined recidivist drunk driver from driving…its that simple.Just as volumes of gun laws don’t stop outlaws acquiring and using guns in crimes so this silly penalising of law abiding, incontrol drivers will do bugger all about the recidivists.

    What will work? Get kids used to alcohol early in life and normalise it for them…as the French do.Make something forbidden fruit and you gaurantee binges,mayhem and tragedy.Start billing people for A&E attendance’s if alcohol is a factor…..hit them in their wallets…not everyone elses.

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  5. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    Hahahaha Waitakere is a perfect example of alcohol restrictions that don’t work. There are no greater boozers than Westies and yet they have the most restrictive alcohol laws in the nation. Anyone wonder why that is? Anyone wonder why we bother? Come on!

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  6. SteveO (77 comments) says:

    Dime, as I understand it, there is no change; the Trusts continuing on with unchanged boundaries the same way as the District Health Boards do. I was hoping this review might abolish them and put us all on the same footing – any word of that, DPF?

    Those who live outside the Trusts boundaries cannot imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to buy wine at the supermarket, knowing all the while that the Trust owned shop nearby will have a limited over-priced range.

    Of course, you may not know if you live within their boundaries – neither of the West Auckland Trusts share this information on their websites.

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  7. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    I’m glad they didn’t bow as completely as they could have to the prohibitionists. Although the 18/20 split smacks of cynical political compromise. But please stop blaming Labour for things that National is doing…

    DPF: “If Labour want to campaign at the next election to ban Tui billboards”

    National: “17. Will be an offence… ….to advertise in a way that appeals to those under the purchase age.”

    Teenagers love Tui ads. They’re funny, and have a short catch phrase they can use on teachers and friends. They also love parties, sports, attractive people, and acting older than they are.

    With the exception of that creepy old guy in the Steinlager Pure ads (and maybe the weirdo with the clip-on sunnies in the Coruba ad), every alcohol advertisement ever made would appeal to <20 year olds.

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  8. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    BlairM – “I don’t commit crimes at 5am when I drink martinis and my hangover is my only punishment. I am an adult. Why take away that freedom?”

    What freedoms are being taken away from you?

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  9. MikeG (425 comments) says:

    “We have elections in this country to decide policies” hahahahahahahahahaha
    Like “No GST increase”?

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  10. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    Fuck National.

    And especially fuck Simon Power, the most inept, kneejerk populist wanker in recent political history.

    The 2nd rate lawyer from Palmerston North has been promoted far beyond his abilities, methinks.

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  11. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    I like 13 + 14 because they are directly analogous to the rules around the Learner’s driving license; there is a responsible adult with full license in the passenger’s seat and they are responsible for (and in charge of) the vehicle. A good sensible solution.

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  12. anonymouse (703 comments) says:

    Under 18 year olds can not possess or drink alcohol in public, unless with a parent. This will be a $200 infringement.

    Err so it is legal for 19yr olds to possess and drink liquor in Public, but illegal for them to purchase it via an off-license ???,

    Are you sure that it was not under 20s cannot possess or drink in public unless under supervision, at 18 the restriction is just stupid- if you can’t legally buy it at an off-license it should be illegal to drink or possess in public with out parental permission

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  13. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    Also 19 re fake ID is a good idea. If you’re going to have an age regulation system, then there needs to be comeback on little f*ckers who smugly try to dodge it at everyone else’s peril.

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  14. dime (10,204 comments) says:

    steveO – at least you get a free smoke alarm every year? lol

    the trusts are a joke.

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  15. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    What a waste of time.

    NZ is nation of anglo saxons and anglo saxons have been smashing the wets for centuries (see Hogarth’s painting gin lane).

    An idiotic desire to get ridulously pissed is in our DNA and as far as native folk go the Maoris are pretty accomplished imbibers as well.

    Trying to change us into behaving like faggoty frogs or iti’s is never going to work.

    Getting wasted is too much fun espeicially if you are 18 and are able to jog off the previous evenings over indulgence. The only thing that stops most people writing themselves off every night is the hang overs which get steadily worse the older you get.

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  16. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    More pissing in the wind by a Government that isn’t anything but a bunch of timeservers with no imagination or principles.

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  17. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    And the only reason they are making the split 18/20 purchase age a conscience vote, is to try to stop this from looking too much like a complete recant of the previous National Govt’s lowering of the drinking age.

    Which it’s NOT, hmmmkay?

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  18. bearhunter (822 comments) says:

    Not sure about 1, 2, 7, 9 and 22.

    1. What happens when you get a council that thinks alcohol is the Devil’s buttermilk and decides not to issue licences to perfectly legitimate businesses? Will we end up going back to the days when you ahd to wait for a licence to become vacant before applying for a new one?

    2. Grocery stores where food is 50% – like corner dairies?

    7. This could lead to ridiculous bullshit like Auckland was floating last year about 11pm closing. I just don’t trust local authorities to make sensible decision, leave it at a national level. Where there is an issue with drunken mobs fighting in the streets after being at the pub, simply enforce the current powers available to the District Licensing Authority.

    9. This is just pandering to lobbyists. Either make it all 20 or all 18.

    22. So what effect will this have on beers that are more than 5% ABV? Will Epic Mayhem become illegal? If it’s only for RTDs then please get someone to define RTD.

    And on all of the measures you list, just enforce the existing laws and make the influence of alcohol an aggravating factor in offending rather than a mitigating one as it is appears to be now.

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  19. ben (2,279 comments) says:

    An overwhelmingly negative reaction from commenters. I salute you all.

    Most of these rules seem predicated on the idea that drinkers don’t plan. The limiting licenses in areas is especially retarded. Yea, government, people will drive a bit further for their grog, but thanks for arbitrarily rewarding incumbents with protection from competition. Not the first time we’ve seen political protection being sold this month from this National government (I refer to the taxi camera debacle). Classic political bs decisionmaking: do something – anything – to look effective, and watch media tards lap it up.

    Eric Cartman once asked: what’s the fucking problem, bitch? All the estimates I’ve seen is that binge drinking hasn’t increased in 20 years, and drinking was much more of a problem 30 years ago. Back when, incidentally, more of these sorts of rules were in place. All that’s happened is the Law Commission has produced a horribly biased report which has pulled the issue back into the consciousness of Important People.

    I wish the Law Commission would produce an equally biased report and consensus against the much more real problem of big government.

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  20. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    I’m utterly sick and tired of more nanny-statism from this openly coward government.

    Key and his spineless ministers take indecision and vacillation to new heights.

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  21. Ross_Bell (11 comments) says:

    @bearhunter – definition of RTDs:
    The definition of RTD is still being worked through, but a preliminary definition is:
    An RTD is a beverage containing alcohol that has been formulated, processed,
    modified, or mixed with other products (such as soda, tonic, cola or flavourings)
    but that is not wine, beer or spirits (including liqueurs).

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  22. Ross_Bell (11 comments) says:

    Good to see Parliament is removing its own exemption under the liquor law, but is retaining the exemption for Police, Fire Service and Defence Canteens – no good reason for that.

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  23. ben (2,279 comments) says:

    there needs to be comeback on little f*ckers who smugly try to dodge it at everyone else’s peril.

    What kind of collectivist nonsense is that? Who else except the underage drinker is imperiled by their drinking?

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  24. bearhunter (822 comments) says:

    Ross – thanks for that. It’s still pretty vague, though. How about fruit beers? Cider? Do the gin & tonic mixes count as RTDs?

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  25. Ross_Bell (11 comments) says:

    @bearhunter – sorry, I was just on the govt’s document.

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  26. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    I have to agree with nickb: Figjam Power is completely out of his depth as minister.
    Instead, this poor incompetent bugger should be doing conveyance work in Ruatoria.

    You have to fear for our country when people of Power’s intelectual caliber become ministers of the Crown,
    Sad, very sad.

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  27. lastmanstanding (1,309 comments) says:

    Yet another attack by the enemy of the people against good citizens whilst doing nothing to fix the problem.

    More of the ‘let punish everyone for the sins of a few” one demensional thinking by the polictical class.

    When will these idiots wake up and realise they have to go after the bad guys NOT the good guys.

    Captain Power of the Titanic still shuffling the deck chairs.

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  28. KiwiGreg (3,274 comments) says:

    Seriously – a legal requirement to provide free water? Adding fascism to wowserism.

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  29. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    How’s that project of electing a National govt to end this Nanny State nonsense going, fellas?

    Will be an offence to … advertise in a way that appeals to those under the purchase age.

    I can’t wait to see Power attempting to define this in a way that doesn’t make him look a complete idiot. Please do televise it…

    Also can not promote free alcohol…

    Presumably the nation’s wineries will have something to say about this. I think Simon’s a bit confused about the difference between striking blows for freedom, and blows to freedom.

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  30. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    “How’s that project of electing a National govt to end this Nanny State nonsense going, fellas?”

    It’s gone completely bad, Milt. Very bad indeed.
    This lot (Labour-lite National ) has turned out to be even worse than their scummy socialist predecessors.

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  31. RRM (10,096 comments) says:

    What kind of collectivist nonsense is that? Who else except the underage drinker is imperiled by their drinking?

    Ben – the publican who might be up for a $200,000(?) fine.

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  32. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    Changing the chairs.

    20. Need a drunk in public law, then the offenders can be dealt to instead of a bed for the night.
    Drunk in public should not be an acceptable behaviour, where does the snotty behaviour come from? (but from drunk people).

    So they have missed the boat just here.

    4. Off licenses (incl NW etc) 9am -8pm. (so what if you shop at 10pm, get a life).

    11. Good that responsible parents can allow their kids in their presence. (we want to encourage responsible behaviour).

    12. should be $2000 same as 13.

    19. I like this, should come with a fraud type conviction. (dishonesty)

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  33. PaulL (5,446 comments) says:

    Alcoholic milk. Likely that will catch baileys?

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  34. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    “Provision of free drinking water a requirement for premises which sell alcohol for consumption on the premises. At present this is a custom, not a requirement.”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Does this lame Parliament need to legislate at this level?
    We jumped from the pan (Labour) to the fire (Labour-lite National). NZ is doomed.

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  35. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    “If Labour want to campaign at the next election to ban Tui billboards, outlaw alcohol sponsorship of sports, hike the alcohol excise tax by 50%, make it a crime for a 19 year old to have a glass of wine with his/her parents in a restaurant and force bars to have a one way policy at 2 am, then that would make my day”

    Labour maintain a double policy sheet. On one side, are public campaign policies , on the other, are the secret policies to be kept hidden until post-election.

    Labour mostly run a hand-out campaign, free money to the students, free money to families etc.

    Labour release the secretive nasty changes after an election win.

    Regarding the booze laws, needs tightening up. It’s a warzone on weekend nights. More dangerous than when I was younger for sure.

    At least National said what they would do pre-election, and pretty much stuck to it.

    While I dislike national, at least Key has integrity.

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  36. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    at least Key has integrity.

    lol

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  37. MT_Tinman (3,310 comments) says:

    May as well just bring the lesbians back.

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  38. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (461 comments) says:

    How’s that project of electing a National govt to end this Nanny State nonsense going, fellas?

    Not so good, however the alternative would be just as fucking hopeless if not worse.

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  39. Fot (252 comments) says:

    Did we not get rid of the nanny state government in 2008?

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  40. Jack5 (5,259 comments) says:

    MT-Tinman at 3.58:

    May as well just bring the lesbians back.

    Hair, hair!

    No thank you!

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  41. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Milt, I’m just relieved Labour didn’t bring in these reforms as we would be looking at much much worse. Thank yourselves lucky. There are some I also support, and some I am wary about.
    On advertising to young people, I think the point is it needs to be direct targeting of the young by way of a certain product or the type of advert. Tui ads appeal to everyone, so I cant see the problem. The alternative is to allow all advertising or none. I think this is the best of the 3 alternatives.
    DPF is putting these reforms in simple terms, no need to be pedantic.
    Easy to criticise, hard to come up with better alternatives (like the foreshore issue). And at the end of the day, National will be judged at the ballot box.

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  42. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    So we tinker to placate the wowsers and all those who think our legal system exists to teach us how to behave ourselves. Kids will still drink and so will I. And we’ll all get hammered now and then and I’ll fall off the kitchen chair again. Ho hum.

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  43. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    The laws are far too focussed on restricting supply which I think is pointless. They should be more focused on clamping down on anti-social behavior caused by alcohol abuse and clamping down HARD on the abusers of alcohol And they should make alcohol far more expensive which would be the most effective weapon of all to stop the abuse. Stubbies should be about $7.50, wine should be about $25.00, and spirits should be about $60.00 – retail. Now that would really start to bite down on alcohol abuse.

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  44. mpledger (425 comments) says:

    19. Makes it an offence with a fine of up to $2,000 to make a false representation of age. So having a fake ID could be very expensive. Also an offence to lend someone your ID so they appear 20.

    Having no ID should be worth the same amount of fine. Kids get in with fake IDs then ditch them when the Police come in and say they got in without them.

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  45. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    Tighter criteria for off-licenses so only eligible are retailers where alcohol is 85% of sales or grocery stores where food is 50% of sales, or hotels/taverns – unless there are a lack of premises in the area. Again, no real issues with this.

    So my old local dairy who sold a bit of everything, including a few ranges of wine and beers, will be forced to stop. Nver mind that the nearest supermarket or huge retail off license is kilometers away. Why is he being punished? Why are the locals who pop in to buy a bottle of wine when friends come around being punished. More fucked up laws from the worst nanny staters since Labour.

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  46. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    nice idea tvb, so lets make it more expensive for the majority who drink in moderation too…thanks a lot for your sensible suggestion, NOT.

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  47. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    I am sorry glubbster but think it through. The moderate drinkers will now only have that one bottle of wine not 3 or 4. As for the abusers they will find it hard to stump up for the box of stubbies. Yes it will make it dearer for the moderate drinkers but not so much as to make wine/beer/spirits, in moderation, totally unaffordable.

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  48. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    I’m sorry, tvb, but think it through. The moderate drinkers were never having 3 or 4 bottles of wine to a person in a single sitting anyway, being moderate drinkers and all.

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  49. rouppe (983 comments) says:

    I’m a little unclear about what the really loud detractors are suggesting as a non-nanny-state alternative.

    It can only be enforcement, so we have alcohol-police trolling around picking up people for an ill-defined offence of drunk in a public place? How would you determine that? Have a breath-alcohol limit for pedestrians? Any alternative has an element of nanny-state in it.

    The fact remains that NZ youth are too immature to handle liberal drinking laws. Yes, that immaturity has been learned from equally immature parents but nonetheless it has been clear to me that lowering the drinking age was a mistake.

    First I stopped going to the bars because I’d had enough of ending up smelling like 3-day-old sick from the smoking. Then I stopped going after nearly regularly nearly ending up in fights with young blokes who got in my face too much trying to prove themselves to silly girls.

    Maybe this’ll work, or maybe not. But it is sure that Labour would have introduced incredibly complex and unnecessary laws to deal with the problem rather than withdrawing the opportunity from a small irresponsible section of the community. I grew up with a 20-year-old age-limit and 11 o’clock closing. Count yourselves lucky

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  50. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    “Did we not get rid of the nanny state government in 2008?”
    Fuck, no! We elected an even bigger and worse nanny.

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  51. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    Well then paying $25.00 minimum for the cheapest wine for one bottle should not be too much hardship. Maybe people could put in $5 each for the bottle. That is all they need at a table of 3-4. A box at $80+ for 3-4 is not too bad. In other words price would be a very effective way of moderating everyone’s drinking. Perhaps alcohol has got too cheap relatively speaking. In the bars a single drink would be about $15.00+ Now that should slow people down a bit. And of course no-one gets entry who is drunk.

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  52. shady (246 comments) says:

    I’m glad Kiwiblog has so many well behaved drinkers and perfect parents who’s perfect children never push the boundaries and pinch the vodka or Bacardi from the liquor cabinet. Maybe – because it has already been drunk, but some of us don’t drink much and have stored it in said cabinet for a later date. I thought the King’s boy took the alcohol from his grandmother’s cupboard – so unless there is a law that say’s you have to lock up your alchohol, this death would still have occurred. Bit like the swimming pool fencing law, or guns being locked in a cupboard by law.

    My point being that it is not mostly the parents giving these kids alcohol, the most likely people to have friends in the underage demographic – are the 18 – 20 year olds. So I for one support the law to make it illegal for under 20’s to buy from off-licences – because they are the one’s most likely to give it to their younger girlfriends, mates and siblings. At 16 they are more likely to get away with impersonating someone of 18 than 20. At 18 they are less likely to think of the consequences of supplying to under 18’s. An 18 year old boy is far more likely to be hanging out with 15 and 16 (or younger) year olds than a 20 year old. Not to say 20 year olds don’t – just less likely to.

    At the risk of a full on offensive from the Kiwibloggers, I agree with split purchase age – if it is that the 18 and 19 year olds can purchase alchohol in the on-licence premises. If not – that’s dumb.

    Ben, those underage drinkers are some of the kids who sit at the end of our street getting pissed, disturbing the neighbours, leaving their rubbish and smashing car windows on their way back up the street. The underage drinkers are also well accounted for in the statistics of drunk driving causing death – not only to themselves, but to others. Maybe making it a little bit harder to get the alcohol might help change it. Surely it’s worth trying.

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  53. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    Yes tvb, sounds great in theory, but you are penalising the majority to try to limit the minority who abuse alchohol. Why should the moderate drinkers subsidies the bingers, shouldn’t it be the other way around?
    Within the minority, while you might be right for a portion, some of the bingers who have money will continue unabated, others with alchohol problems will have less money for food and their families.
    And what about the cost to alchohol outlets for lowers sales? Those are very high minimum price which will simply lead to uncontrolled bootlegs etc etc.
    So your policy benefits few at a cost to many. Price is a blunt instrument not some powerful weapon as you assert. Look at smoking for example.
    You tell me to think it through? Are you serious? Quit now and stop digging.

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  54. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    Also, good way to price certain producers out of the market and encourage alternatives be it cheap meths for the hardcore, illicit drugs for others or even a homebrewing resurgence – cheap hooch, moonshine, beer, whatever. Those would be three obvious incentive effects to prohibitively high taxation. Also increased costs to businesses – small producers (we have a growing number of quality craft brewers and I suspect we also have a growing number of boutique wineries although I’m less certain about this) would be a concern there given they have less ability to absorb such costs and they’re not the ones you want to target – but the costs would be worth it, right? Because the externalities from drinking aren’t already internalised by the taxation and as we all know there are no benefits to drinking. Which is funny really. You’d think if there were no benefits, people would stop engaging in the behaviour.

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  55. James (1,299 comments) says:

    “I am sorry glubbster but think it through. The moderate drinkers will now only have that one bottle of wine not 3 or 4.

    Balls.They will still have 3 or 4 because thats what they WANT.They’ll pay for it by reducing spending elsewhere…like on food,things for the kids etc etc.Drink is a crutch to make one feel better about life.Making it more expensive dosen’t change that…it will just add to the reasons people drink.Add to that all the bad incentives that will arise and this move is stuuuuuuuuuupid.

    As for the abusers they will find it hard to stump up for the box of stubbies. Yes it will make it dearer for the moderate drinkers but not so much as to make wine/beer/spirits, in moderation, totally unaffordable.

    And I and many other home brewers will then be incentivised to sell them OUR product instead making P manufacture look like kids play once the booze is flowing.I predict there will be waiting lists for P makers wanting premises to make the stuff as booze makers will have taken over all the sites availible due to market demand. ;-)

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  56. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “Ben, those underage drinkers are some of the kids who sit at the end of our street getting pissed, disturbing the neighbours, leaving their rubbish and smashing car windows on their way back up the street. The underage drinkers are also well accounted for in the statistics of drunk driving causing death – not only to themselves, but to others. Maybe making it a little bit harder to get the alcohol might help change it. Surely it’s worth trying.”

    These laws don’t target underage drinkers. It is exceptionally poor targeting. You want to target underage drinkers, enforce the law as it stands and encourage personal responsibility from both youths and parents. Public shame would also work as a motivator. Admittedly, this won’t fix the problem totally – some will still ignore these incentives – but they target it better than these mooted changes.

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  57. MT_Tinman (3,310 comments) says:

    # tvb (1,117) Says:
    August 23rd, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    The laws are far too focussed on restricting supply which I think is pointless. They should be more focused on clamping down on anti-social behavior caused by alcohol abuse and clamping down HARD on the abusers of alcohol And they should make alcohol far more expensive which would be the most effective weapon of all to stop the abuse. Stubbies should be about $7.50, wine should be about $25.00, and spirits should be about $60.00 – retail. Now that would really start to bite down on alcohol abuse.

    Fantastic!

    Then we’d have the bastards stealing my television to buy a bloody beer.

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  58. ben (2,279 comments) says:

    tvb –

    And they should make alcohol far more expensive which would be the most effective weapon of all to stop the abuse. Stubbies should be about $7.50, wine should be about $25.00, and spirits should be about $60.00 – retail. Now that would really start to bite down on alcohol abuse.

    No, for two reasons. One, those least responsivle to prices are heavy drinkers. Those most responsive are the moderate drinkers. So you hit all the wrong people.

    Second, high prices produced by taxes cause black markets to appear, and these really do create problems through low quality and a lack of standards, reduced recourse in the event something goes wrong, and, of course, because it realises the returns to crime and will massively increase the power of the gangs. Competition between suppliers will not be won by the most efficient provider, but the one with the biggest guns and most ammunition. We know all this from Prohibition. Setting very high taxes rates you propose take us down that path.

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  59. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    My point is by making alcohol more expensive you are not imposing too much hardship on the very moderate drinkers. But what you are doing is making it very expensive for the abusers. In other works if you price alcohol up to the level of making one bottle expensive but not unaffordable. For people who drink the whole box, or 4-5 bottles or 1+ bottle of spirits you are making things too dear for them to abuse alcohol.

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  60. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    “Perhaps alcohol has got too cheap relatively speaking. In the bars a single drink would be about $15.00+”

    Are you taking the piss? (no pun intended)

    If you want to live in a society regulated to that extreme, where price decisions are made by the state with total disregard for its citizens, why don’t you move to North Korea?

    No, I don’t count myself lucky. I deplore this government’s inability to deal with a problematic minority.
    What we have in power is nothing but a coward political leadership which chooses the easiest way out by punishing thousands of law-abiding citizens.

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  61. James (1,299 comments) says:

    The laws are far too focussed on restricting supply which I think is pointless. They should be more focused on clamping down on anti-social behavior caused by alcohol abuse and clamping down HARD on the abusers of alcohol.

    I agree

    And they should make alcohol far more expensive which would be the most effective weapon of all to stop the abuse. Stubbies should be about $7.50, wine should be about $25.00, and spirits should be about $60.00 – retail. Now that would really start to bite down on alcohol abuse.

    And there you lose the plot.Do that and you will have a thousand homebrewers in your kids ear quicker than you can say “Prohibition failed”.This sort of Nanny shit is why we have a failed war on drugs that made things a thousand times worse than they needed to be.Fact: We WANT to drink! We will find a way to no matter what sort of puritan repressive bullshit you try and impose.That will lead to all sorts of issues arising that you have not thought of that make the present situation look like childs play.

    How about addressing the incentives currently in action that cause irresponsible youth drinking and deal with those?Lack of….Personal responsibility,Parental responsibility,demistifying booze at a young age,paying for alcohol related healthcare YOURSELF (and eventually all healthcare) etc.

    Our booze culture is directly linked to our love of “big Government knows best and will take care of us” bullshit thinking.

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  62. ben (2,279 comments) says:

    Shady

    I’m glad Kiwiblog has so many well behaved drinkers and perfect parents who’s perfect children never push the boundaries and pinch the vodka or Bacardi from the liquor cabinet.

    Which these changes will do nothing to prevent.

    Ben, those underage drinkers are some of the kids who sit at the end of our street getting pissed, disturbing the neighbours, leaving their rubbish and smashing car windows on their way back up the street. The underage drinkers are also well accounted for in the statistics of drunk driving causing death – not only to themselves, but to others. Maybe making it a little bit harder to get the alcohol might help change it. Surely it’s worth trying.

    Which these changes will do nothing to prevent.

    Surely it’s worth trying.

    NO. It is not worth saving a dollar of mostly self-inflicted harm by destroying $10 of enjoyment. To the extent the harm is inflicted on others, through broken windows and drink driving and crime, it is already against the law. “Surely its worth trying” is a non-argument, you could point that phrase at anything and it would still be meaningless. The goal of policy is no and cannot be harm reduction, except in the special case where that can be achieved without affecting benefits elsewhere i.e. where welfare maximisation and harm reduction are the same. The goal must be welfare maximisation. This entire debate has been misguided by the Law Commission’s self-evidently wrong focus on untargeted harm reduction.

    Anyway, if it’s “surely worth trying” then be my guest: how about giving up your own time and money before forcing everyone else into it. Worth it, surely?

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  63. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    As for this: “As for the abusers they will find it hard to stump up for the box of stubbies. Yes it will make it dearer for the moderate drinkers but not so much as to make wine/beer/spirits, in moderation, totally unaffordable.”, it implies abusers are short of a few bob. Can you back that up?

    Anyway, for abusers who aren’t short of a few bob it comes down to the importance the abuser places on obtaining alcohol. This is presumably high (relatively inelastic demand) – given they’re an “abuser” and all – so they’re still likely to consume similar levels as prior to a tax change.

    For the abuser who is short of a few bob, it depends more as to what they get out of high alcohol consumption. If it’s getting blitzed, which is likely given they’re an “abuser”, they’re more likely to be further incentivised sideways into alternatives (substitution), which are likely to be illicit, relatively hard to regulate quality-wise (meths, hooch, etc) or both.

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  64. James (1,299 comments) says:

    I am a homebrewer…have been since it was legalised back in the late 90’s.I can make 1.125lt bottle of decent spirits for between $5-10 bucks.A similar bottle in the shops is currently around $35-50+

    Do the math and consider the incentives,and the consequences that rising booze prices will have.The cops can’t cope with P….what chance have they with slygroggers who would also enjoy far more sympathy,and custom from the general public?

    Think about it…

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  65. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    And we will go after the home brewers if we have to. And if alcohol gets very expensive, yes they will happen. I get the feeling that alcohol has got too cheap. Once upon a time a bottle of wine was a bit of a luxury. I think we need to get back to that in pricing – hence my suggestion of making wine a minimum of $25.00 and comparable increases in beer/RTD/spirits. Playing around with supply hours is pointless window dressing. How is that REALLY going to stop abuse???

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  66. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    But what you are doing is making it very expensive for the abusers.

    But why would we want to do that? What would the purpose be?

    1. Recoup the costs to the health system of alcohol abuse? But don’t we already do that through excise taxes? And if not, shouldn’t we start doing so immediately?
    2. Cut down on the crimes caused by pissed people? If that’s the problem, why don’t we concentrate on policing crime rather than pointlessly billing people who may never actually cause a problem?
    3. We just don’t like them? Now, this is the actual problem the wowsers want to solve. Nobody who’s sober feels any fondness for pissed wankers. It’s just not clear to me why that’s seen as something that demands a legislative response.

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  67. annie (539 comments) says:

    “The 50% increase in excise tax is rejected. Yay. I have yet to see a compelling economic analysis that the current excise tax does not cover the external costs of alcohol.”

    There is good evidence in the medical literature showing an inverse correlation between alcohol price changes and rates of alcoholism in the population under study. The only known way to contain problem drinking is to raise the price of alcohol.

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  68. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    If a single drink was $15.00 how many drinks would you have?? Not many I suggest, why you might even moderate your consumption to come within the new 0.05% level for alcohol. One you start focusing on costs and then reflect that on your consumption – how many people would get drunk if it costs over $100.00. Not many I suggest. I know about “preloading” at home. Did it myself. Well no-one get entry into a bar if they are already “preloaded”.

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  69. KiwiGreg (3,274 comments) says:

    “Parents can continue to supply alcohol to their own children at home”

    What a nice government, I’m so grateful for their permission to do this.

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  70. andrei (2,653 comments) says:

    I have an idea, TVB, why don’t we flog people for drinking like they do is Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    I have an even better idea than that, if you don’t like living in a country where people are allowed to enjoy a drink why don’t you move to Saudi Arabia or Iran.

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  71. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “There is good evidence in the medical literature showing an inverse correlation between alcohol price changes and rates of alcoholism in the population under study. The only known way to contain problem drinking is to raise the price of alcohol.”

    That’s not a compelling economic analysis. It doesn’t show that the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits of not doing so.

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  72. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    The point I am making is tweeking about hours on SUPPLY and being bossy with parents who give their children alcohol (I have always deprecated giving kids alcohol and always refuse to serve it to under 18 year olds), are just not dealing with the problem. By putting up some figure such as $15 for a standard drink and then reflecting what might do to your own behavior then we start to see how to deal with the problem of abuse. Alcohol is far too cheap. Alcohol should be expensive but not unaffordable for moderate drinkers.

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  73. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    Ok, to the majority of you lot – does it occur that this government and the previous one make these changes because they’re (generally) sensible and (generally) well researched and thought through changes? They know (as with the ETS) that voters such as yourselves aren’t going to like it…. but they do it anyway – for no apparent political gain…

    i.e; could you be wrong?

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  74. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “The point I am making is tweeking about hours on SUPPLY and being bossy with parents who give their children alcohol (I have always deprecated giving kids alcohol and always refuse to serve it to under 18 year olds), are just not dealing with the problem. By putting up some figure such as $15 for a standard drink and then reflecting what might do to your own behavior then we start to see how to deal with the problem of abuse. Alcohol is far too cheap. Alcohol should be expensive but not unaffordable for moderate drinkers.”

    Why? Moderate drinkers aren’t the ones causing problems. The harm to them in targeting problem drinkers should be minimised. Poor targeting is poor targeting. And reflecting on what it might do to my own behaviour is not particularly relevant, my demand for alcohol (or getting blitzed) is not relatively inelastic. The problem drinker on the other hand likely does have relatively inelastic demand for getting blitzed at least. Furthermore, when reflecting upon what I might do, I would find a subsititute. In this case, I would brew my own.

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  75. James (1,299 comments) says:

    And we will go after the home brewers if we have to.

    At the risk of incurring the wraft of DPF…(and I think he might cut me some slack considering the context) I say Seig heil! Sieg heil! Seig heil!…..und after ve haft dealt wit der brewers ve vill move unt to das swine unt Poland,unt Greece,unt France unt….

    Right there is the prime reason you will fail tvb….it becomes a freedom issue and people will not tolerate tryanny inposed by busybody fascists forever.They will fight back….viva las resistance!

    Look up prohibition in the US….see how whole schools were closed because the pupils were drunk,see how the Mafia were empowered to become what they are today,see how dealers hung around kids and schools trying to hook them (just as drug dealers do today)

    Is that what you really want?

    And if alcohol gets very expensive, yes they will happen. I get the feeling that alcohol has got too cheap. Once upon a time a bottle of wine was a bit of a luxury. I think we need to get back to that in pricing – hence my suggestion of making wine a minimum of $25.00 and comparable increases in beer/RTD/spirits. Playing around with supply hours is pointless window dressing. How is that REALLY going to stop abuse???

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  76. francis (617 comments) says:

    As prices rise and controls tighten past a certain point, alternative venues proliferate. In cities in the US, basement and garage bars are really very common. They are here, as well, in lots of neighbourhoods. Rises in excise tax in the US sustained the moonshine bootlegger traffic, as well, far beyond the dark years of prohibition.

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  77. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Ok, to the majority of you lot – does it occur that this government and the previous one make these changes because they’re (generally) sensible and (generally) well researched and thought through changes? They know (as with the ETS) that voters such as yourselves aren’t going to like it…. but they do it anyway – for no apparent political gain…

    i.e; could you be wrong?

    No….because facts are facts,the law of cause and effect is what it is and doesn’t waver before the best whims and wishes of anyone,and our lives and rights are ours and do not require the permission of anyone to enjoy.

    The State exists to serve US and protect our rights from this exact same intrusion into them.Its ONLY job is to deal with those who ARE violating our rights…not those of us who are doing no such thing by PERSONALLY imbibing alcohol WE purchased from WILLING sellers who inturn bought it from WILLING manufactures.

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  78. James (1,299 comments) says:

    This bit from my previous post was of course tvb’s fascism…not anything I wrote in case you were confused.

    ;-)

    …”And if alcohol gets very expensive, yes they will happen. I get the feeling that alcohol has got too cheap. Once upon a time a bottle of wine was a bit of a luxury. I think we need to get back to that in pricing – hence my suggestion of making wine a minimum of $25.00 and comparable increases in beer/RTD/spirits. Playing around with supply hours is pointless window dressing. How is that REALLY going to stop abuse???”

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  79. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    @James

    “The State exists to serve US and protect our rights from this exact same intrusion into them.Its ONLY job is to deal with those who ARE violating our rights…not those of us who are doing no such thing by PERSONALLY imbibing alcohol WE purchased from WILLING sellers who inturn bought it from WILLING manufactures.”

    Must be a wonderful thing, to be so certain, and to live in such a clear-cut world. Send me a postcard.

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  80. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    @JiveKitty

    Sure – good reading.

    So when are you going to be railing against the laws re: P and cocaine?

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  81. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    Hardly nanny state.look at the USA where the age is 21 years old.

    Alcohol is a drug. It makes some people fight and drive and kill.

    Why shouldn’t we let people consume any drug they wish to. After all some can take p and be quite ok so why should the govt tell these people not to take p. Nanny state at it’s worse eh?

    You losers who think these changes are nanny state need a good slap and wake up.

    Nanny state would be an outright ban fools.

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  82. dad4justice (6,587 comments) says:

    Clearly the social experiment Island of New Zealand has lost the plot. Simon says get a letter from mummy before you go drinking boy. FFS what a nutbar country run by demented fools!

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  83. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    “FFS what a nutbar country run by demented fools!”

    And the fools’ surnames are Power and Key. Before them we got the authoritarian, some would say quasi-dictator, Clark and her henchman Cullen.

    Political parties change, iditioc policies continue.

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  84. ByterNZ (26 comments) says:

    @ Whoops

    “Must be a wonderful thing, to be so certain, and to live in such a clear-cut world. Send me a postcard.”

    That postcard used to have a picture of the USA constitution on it before people started treating it like toilet paper.

    There’s no reason why it can’t be that clear cut (alcohol doesn’t force its way down anyone’s throat), other than:

    1) The losers who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions (which is part of being an adult),
    2) The politicians who pander to those losers to make them feel better about themselves.
    3) Those people who benefit economically from the coercion and pandering. After all, it’s a lot easier to make money by forcing people to do something or by changing the playing field rather than persuading them.

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  85. dad4justice (6,587 comments) says:

    “Political parties change, iditioc policies continue.”

    I have had a fucking gutsfull of stinking wimpish deranged socialism.

    Would a REAL leader please stand up, please stand up…

    Why bother voting?

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  86. ByterNZ (26 comments) says:

    Does this say that a bar actually has to be CLOSED after 4 am, or just has to stop serving alcohol?

    If the bars had to close, then what would the sports bars do for the test that was on this weekend? It started at 3 am. The Holy Grail in Christchurch would have been the best place to watch it, would they have had to close half way through?

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  87. dad4justice (6,587 comments) says:

    Hey talking bout Ch Ch the local cops do a round-up of drunks at 3 am so Crusher can sleep at night. The insane woman is as bad as Simon Flower, both lawyer pc type show ponies of little substance!

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  88. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “So when are you going to be railing against the laws re: P and cocaine?”

    I tend to rail against the expansion of the government sphere where there are likely to be few benefits as it’s much easier to stop expansion than it is to reverse it. I also tend to rail against policy when there are significant doubts the costs of such policy are less than the benefits. As well as this, I rail at inconsistent law, which this is an example of in the sense that 18 year olds are legally considered to have reached the age of majority and thus should have the privileges and responsibilities of all adults. This is also part of the reason I have railed at drug policy in the past: it is inconsistent – marijuana, MDMA, LSD and others are less harmful than presently legal social drugs – and use is widespread.

    I don’t believe markets don’t fail, but nor do I believe government interventions don’t fail. So I’ll rail at it if there are cost/benefit analyses showing the benefits of legalisation will outweigh the costs (which they potentially could), I guess, as given they’re more harmful than currently legal social drugs I’m not aware if this is the case or not. Also if use is already widespread, I don’t see the point in retaining prohibition. Furthermore, social attitudes towards these drugs are not particularly conducive to me railing against the law at present. I wouldn’t get anywhere, so the cost/benefit to me is not particularly good. In that sense, it’s rational to pick my battles.

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  89. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    @ James

    “That postcard used to have a picture of the USA constitution on it before people started treating it like toilet paper.”

    Eh? I thought this place was called Kiwiblog? You must’ve got confused and cross-posted from http://www.yankblog.com

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  90. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    @ JiveKitty

    So, let me get that straight… you’re for legalisation of pot?

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  91. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    Yes, prohibition appears to have failed.

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  92. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    So if it were to be legalised (not just decriminalised), would you put any constraints on it? Not for under 10 year olds?

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  93. wat dabney (3,840 comments) says:

    Do these interfering politicians happen to believe that they themselves need these measures, to help curb their own drinking issues?

    Never.

    These c***s always operate on the assumption that we are not adults but children who need to be told what to do in all things; that the fact that they got themselves elected somehow means they are our moral and intellectual superiors who have a duty to control their electorate of morons.

    Some stupid bitch – a professional lobbyist – on the radio driving home this evening spouting neo-fascist bullshit about how more controls, higher prices and extra censorship needs to be imposed on everyone. I hope she dies in a horrible accident. Tomorrow.

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  94. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    I would. The constraints would be consistent with the age of majority, however. Full rights and responsibilities for those who’ve reached the age.

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  95. Whoops (136 comments) says:

    Great, when do you take over?

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  96. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Some stupid bitch – a professional lobbyist – on the radio driving home this evening spouting neo-fascist bullshit about how more controls, higher prices and extra censorship needs to be imposed on everyone

    Exactly. She said than anyone who suggested whole-of-NZ controls were unfairly targeting responsible users where simply spouting industry lobbyists’ lines. She then went on to claim that control through increased prices wouldn’t impact responsible drinkers because they, by definition, didn’t drink much. What a prize idiot.

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  97. CharlieBrown (1,051 comments) says:

    Nanny McKey is at it again. I wonder what the stacked deck we call the human rights commission will say when I lodge my complaint there about the discrimination this gives 18 year olds.

    The bullshit people say when we have a “binge drinking culture” is enough to give diahrea the shits. The real cultural problem we have in NZ is the “Its not my fault” attitude that so much of NZ has. I bet that if rioting, vandalising, and assault carried 50 strokes with a rattin cane, most of the alcohol related crime we have in NZ would go away – particularly with young people.

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  98. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    “What will work? Get kids used to alcohol early in life and normalise it for them…as the French do.Make something forbidden fruit and you gaurantee binges,mayhem and tragedy.Start billing people for A&E attendance’s if alcohol is a factor…..hit them in their wallets…not everyone elses.”

    Is the correct answer!

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  99. reid (16,681 comments) says:

    Alcohol is here to stay. The liberalisation hasn’t produced good outcomes. Precisely what some predicted has come to pass, with alcohol passing easily into numerous and eager 14-16 y.o.’s, since Liarbore’s relaxation.

    Personally I think 20 is appropriate, provided it’s combined with the lax enforcement of the 80’s which meant if you were a uni student or a working class lad 18-20 it didn’t matter. That used to work, didn’t it.

    Very rarely saw 16 y.o.’s in the bar, then, did we.

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  100. CharlieBrown (1,051 comments) says:

    Reid – what country did you grow up in. It was easier to get into a pub at 16 when the law was 20 than it is now days.

    The biggest supplier to underage teenagers is parents – so lets ban every parent of a teenager from buying alchol.

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  101. first time caller (370 comments) says:

    Look, all I know is that as a law abiding citizen with two kids yet to be near a drinking age, I see and hear horror stories about teenagers and alcohol.

    I don’t know what the best method is to fix this problem, but I do know we have to try. The problem is real, and it is different from when I was growing up.
    John Key at least has kids in the perfect age group and should have a pretty good idea about the realities.

    For most of us sensible nightly/or occasional drinkers, nothing will change. We will still be able to but wine at the supermarket, and have a couple of wines at a restaurant.

    Pull you whinging heads in and start to think about the decisions you would make if you were ever charged with the responsibility.

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  102. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    …since Liarbore’s relaxation.

    Under Jennie Shipley, honorary lifetime Liarbore Party member and founder of the Socialist International Country Women’s Institute.

    Look, all I know is that as a law abiding citizen with two kids yet to be near a drinking age, I see and hear horror stories about teenagers and alcohol.

    Look, I’m scared by the youth of today and made paranoid by constant media scare stories, so the govt must take action. As long as they don’t do anything that might inconvenience me personally, I’m good with it.

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  103. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Let’s ban teenagers, and by definition any children. That should work!

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  104. Gavfaemonty (61 comments) says:

    There’s an unchallenged assertion going around in support of price regulation (i.e. price increase) that alcohol is’cheap’ in NZ. Simply isn’t true. I just got back from France where you can get a 5L box of decent glugging merlot or SB in a supermarket for less than NZD15. Tescos in London were knocking out slabs of 24x330ml Stella bottles for NZD22. The corner shop up the road from my parents’ place in rural Scotland was doing a rubbish whisky for GBP7.50 a bottle = NZD17. A beer in a taqueria in San Francisco was USD3.50 = NZD5 or so, cheaper than a beer in a cafe here.

    Drinking in a bar here is hugely expensive – $8 or so for 500ml. That’s more than the GBP3.50 for a pint (576ml) in central London; and adds up to $100 for the 12 beers that would make up any half-decent session for a conditioned drinker.

    And… we’re a low-wage economy still, adding to the relative expense of drink.

    On the positive side, Villa Maria and Oyster Bay are getting eye-watering prices for their wines in the UK – well done to them.

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  105. reid (16,681 comments) says:

    “As long as they don’t do anything that might inconvenience me personally, I’m good with it.”

    Well that’s always the unspoken bottom line, isn’t it Milt.

    But I personally feel there’s a missing element and that’s punishment. Where’s the punishment for this debacle? Loss of pensions for a start, if not imprisonment.

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  106. wat dabney (3,840 comments) says:

    “I don’t know what the best method is to fix this problem, but I do know we have to try.”

    As someone once said, the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.

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  107. Manolo (14,158 comments) says:

    “But I think Simon Power has done a pretty good job with this one.”

    Spinning at 10,000 rpm. Enough said.

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  108. reid (16,681 comments) says:

    “Spinning at 10,000 rpm”

    Yes his comment on lefty radio tonight being that now parents had an excuse to explain to their teenagers why they couldn’t have alcohol suggests he doesn’t know a whole heck of a lot about them.

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  109. James (1,299 comments) says:

    The State exists to serve US and protect our rights from this exact same intrusion into them.Its ONLY job is to deal with those who ARE violating our rights…not those of us who are doing no such thing by PERSONALLY imbibing alcohol WE purchased from WILLING sellers who inturn bought it from WILLING manufactures.”

    Must be a wonderful thing, to be so certain, and to live in such a clear-cut world. Send me a postcard

    Don’t need to….its already spelled out for you.Either its true or its not. No middle ground.

    J

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  110. ben (2,279 comments) says:

    As long as they don’t do anything that might inconvenience me personally, I’m good with it.

    Well good luck getting the precise set of rules that inconveniences all the right people. A government big enough to piss on everyone else is big enough to piss on you.

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  111. ben (2,279 comments) says:

    , but I do know we have to try

    BULLSHIT.

    Try with your own goddamned time and money. I’d prefer government policy that actually worked, rather than policy designed to enhance Simon Power’s standing and, in this fucked up system, increased National’s re-election chances. Those are not the same things. As with all government policy, what will be achieved is the opposite of what was intended. It is practically a law that government cannot do anything it sets out to do. The only question is whether somebody is measuring the damage.

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  112. nearlyblonde (9 comments) says:

    Restrictions may have a small effect. So long as judges only slap drink drivers who kill with short home detentions the drinking will continue. Hospitals A and E on a saturday night patch up drunks …. it is all wrong and these laws wont do much if anything. But i am surprised that national did anything ….. oh thats right they are the red national party. why the right cant do what they are good ie the economy at and leave the social policies to labour. Instead everyone is wishy washy and it show up in all our statistics.

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  113. Viking2 (11,661 comments) says:

    And here is where the answer really lies to youth drinking. Beer usually is about 4% and so you drink a lot before you get wasted. Alcopops have no limit and so we have teens drinking sweet drinks (lollywater) with 8%.
    Our problems were way less before Erceg inflicted his teenage booze drinks upon this country and the best thing he did was hitting the ground and not coming back. Hopefully the outfit that owns independent will now go completely broke taking its Australian super funds with it and we can return to a more normal alcohol environment.
    Neither political party comes out of this well for both either encouraged or blindly turned an eye to Ercegs products despite plenty of evidence they were bad for everyone except Independent liquor.

    If anything those alcopops should contain less alcohol than beer so 5% is a compromise to Independent and others.
    Why not 3% or 2%?

    5pc limit blow for alcopop makers
    By John Drinnan
    5:30 AM Tuesday Aug 24, 2010

    Independent Liquor Group has been given a serve in liquor law reforms announced yesterday.

    The South Auckland-based firm dominates the market for “Ready To Drink” products popular with the young – the segment most directly affected by the changes.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10668413

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  114. Viking2 (11,661 comments) says:

    More stupidity by blaming the wrong person. Dairy owners who sell almost no alcohol are being targeted as the villians in alcohol sales.
    Supermarkets who sell the bulk of the booze in NZ are apparently just the bees knees, well as far as the Govt. is concerned.
    This smacks of money and stinks like shit always stinks.

    The dairy who sells a few bottles of wine to people on the way home is a greater danger than the super market who sells discounted booze by the box load/pallet load.

    Some days I wonder where the Nats. get their brain power from.

    Alcohol clampdown upsets dairy owners
    By Vaimoana Tapaleao
    5:30 AM Tuesday Aug 24, 2010

    Ashok Darji, owner of Ash’s Wine and Lotto superette on Kepa Rd, who will be affected by the new liquor reforms. Photo /

    Dairy owners should have the same rights as supermarkets when it comes to selling alcohol, say shop owners angry with the Government’s latest liquor law reforms.

    Several changes announced yesterday included a law that will clarify that dairies and convenience stores cannot be off-licences, therefore cannot sell alcohol.

    Ashok Darji, who owns Ash’s Wine and Lotto Superette in Mission Bay, says the move unfairly targets and punishes dairies.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10668400

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  115. Viking2 (11,661 comments) says:

    Someone like to explain to the Nats. whats wrong with this senario.

    Item !.Mum and Dad to decide if young Johnny gets booze
    By Derek Cheng
    5:30 AM Tuesday Aug 24, 2010

    Under-18s wanting to drink at a private party, including after-balls, will need their parents’ permission under the Government’s alcohol reform package, and the host will need to police the level of drunkenness.

    Item2.
    Drunken youths trash house
    By KAY BLUNDELL – The Dominion Post
    Last updated 05:00 24/08/2010

    SHOCKING DISCOVERY: Paula Roberts, who had 14 windows broken in her house, did not know her 17-year-old son was having a birthday party.
    Relevant offers

    About 100 drunken youths at a 17th birthday party on the Kapiti Coast trashed a house and left a trail of destruction and scared residents in their wake.

    Police were called to Matatua Rd, Raumati, at 2am on Saturday to find more than a hundred people aged between 16 and 24 hurling abuse and bottles. They had trashed the party house, breaking 14 windows.

    Senior Sergeant Alasdair MacMillan said a 17-year-old was arrested for breaching the peace but there was little five officers could do. “Bottles and other projectiles were thrown at them. I would not expect them to wade in to make wholesale arrests with disregard for their own safety.” After trashing the house the mob made its way two kilometres south to a pool complex, leaving a trail of broken glass and damaged property, including a letterbox thrown into a car, and a mufti police vehicle’s windscreen which was shattered with a bottle or a hammer.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4053784/Drunken-youths-trash-house

    Oh if we change the Law it will stop them all drinking. well fuck me!
    So is MUM going to get fined?

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  116. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    A liquor outlet is advertising RTDs for $1/bottle. What does anyone think is going to happen next? Make those bottles $7.50 each and we get a different result. A $1/bottle everyone is going to get plastered on this alcoholic lolly water.

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  117. annie (539 comments) says:

    @jivekitty: “That’s not a compelling economic analysis. It doesn’t show that the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits of not doing so.”

    Dear god, what is in your veins? Does it need antifreeze? I thought this legislation was about people’s wellbeing, not the economy,

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  118. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    Uhh, cost/benefit analysis should take into account the utility people get from drinking. It is about wellbeing but the wellbeing of all. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the law should not be made. It’s simple. It’s bad law if it is.

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  119. BeaB (2,164 comments) says:

    tvb So when was a bottle of wine ‘a bit of a luxury? We used to have a bottle on the family dinner table 50 years ago. There was always whisky in the cupboard for a ‘spot’. Dad brought home a flagon every Saturday night.
    We have been drinking wine ever since – and sherry and port and spirits. I love my weekly martini or two.
    My coz now on a pension has set up a still to make her gin – she gets through 4 bottles a week and who would begrudge her with all her ills?
    So I am not sure when those halcyon days were, tvb. Not in my lifetime. And most RTDs are for people who don’t want to drink much so sip on those.

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  120. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Just get rid of Interest-Paid-By-Others-Student-Loans. That will cut down the amount of boozing done by ‘students’.

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  121. ByterNZ (26 comments) says:

    @ Annie: “I thought this legislation was about people’s wellbeing, not the economy,”

    Excuse me if I don’t believe that the government should be responsible for the wellbeing of those people who won’t take responsibility for their own drinking. There is NOTHING that this bill provides that couldn’t be done better by people taking responsibility for themselves.

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  122. Viking2 (11,661 comments) says:

    # malcolm (1,608) Says:
    August 24th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Just get rid of Interest-Paid-By-Others-Student-Loans. That will cut down the amount of boozing done by ‘students’.

    Truly correct and while we are at it go back to youth rates so they can grovel for a beer as well.
    Seriously good idea’s.
    Better than wasteful drunk kids.

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  123. James (1,299 comments) says:

    Dear god, what is in your veins? Does it need antifreeze? I thought this legislation was about people’s wellbeing, not the economy,

    Dear God whats in YOUR head…sand? Are you unaware that we the people ARE the economy…? We the people choose to drink….try and stop us if you think you are hard (and stupid) enough.

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  124. James (1,299 comments) says:

    From NotPC…very good.

    Announcing yesterday’s package of puritanism, Simon Power-Lust signalled that he will be continuing the attack on small bottle-store owners begun by Helen Clark the very week bottle-store owner Navtej Singh was shot. One of the three big “improvements” delivered by his reforms, says Simon, is that it “gives communities a say in when and where liquor outlets can open.” The unspoken announcement being: “We’re going to make it damned hard to get a new license, or renew an existing one.”

    This frankly just blames small-business owners for selling to wiling customers. It’s the same sort of finger-pointing in which several hundred people indulged in Manukau last week, marching on council buildings to complain about what other people are doing. One woman in the rally, who revealed to the interviewer that she had a god on her side (she didn’t reveal which one), complained that in Manukau there is now “a bottle store on every corner.” “That’s not what we want as a community,” she huffed.

    Well, I beg to differ.

    If there really were a bottle store on every corner (there are 350 bottle stores in Manukau, but many more corners) then that would in fact be a sign that this is precisely what “the community” does want—because the customers of those bottle stores, who come from “the community,” are the very people who are keeping all these bottle stores open, demonstrating as clearly as you can that this is precisely what “the community” does want.

    So what the woman should have said was “this is not what I want.” “The community, c’est moi.” But why is her voice more important than any other? And why should her puritanism give her any power to to tell you and me when and where we can buy a bottle of wine?

    Well, on that one you’ll have to ask Simple Simon. Because in “giving communities a say in when and where liquor outlets can open,” he is simply giving a say to busybodies like this one, and taking it away from the communities themselves. Because like that woman, Simple Simon is completely unaware that communities already are “having a say” in where and when outlets are open—having a say by voting with their wallet every time they make a purchase.

    They’re called customers, Simon. At the end of the day it’s not you or I or anyone else who decides whether or not a bottle store or any other store stays open. They do: their customers. And these customers are the community.

    Perhaps you should listen to what they’re saying. Because shutting down these small businesses won’t limit demand for alcohol, it will simply change where it’s bought. And meanwhile, as Eric Crampton observes, there are a lot of immigrant families whose businesses are going to be destroyed.

    Here here…end the nanny nonsense.

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  125. glubbster (344 comments) says:

    annie, your lack of understanding about what underpins good law makes me puke. Go think some more before posting rubbish.

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