Michael Lafou was supposed to be hanging out with his mates playing computer games, but instead the teenager died cold and alone.
The 16-year-old Naenae College pupil sat near the Hutt River with friends and drank a concoction of booze – including straight bourbon, beer and RTDs – before his body was found on the water’s edge early on Wednesday, police have revealed.
They believe heavy alcohol consumption and the cold weather overnight may have contributed to his death.
His death came as MPs voted against raising the drinking age to 20 – a move that disappointed many in the health sector who deal with the consequences of grossly intoxicated teenagers.
He was 16, not 18 or 19. An age change would not have changed this sad outcome.
The death highlighted the dangers of supplying people under 18 with alcohol, Mr Hill said. “This is the harsh consequences of young people drinking.”
Absolutely. We need a culture change that you do not supply alcohol to those unable to purchase it legally. And the rest of the Alcohol Reform Bill changes the law to make it illegal for someone like Michael to be supplied alcohol without parental consent.
Bars and pubs were not at fault, and few liquor stores had been caught selling to underage people. Adults with access to alcohol were largely to blame.
Indeed. I hope they do find out who did supply the alcohol.