Medical officers of health from our three biggest cities have called for urgent, meaningful action by the Government to address our shameful drinking culture.
Laws were introduced in 2012 to reduce harm, but doctors say the legislation has largely been a failure.
They say the liquor industry is blocking attempts by councils to limit the number of places where alcohol is sold, and the times it can be sold.
The liquor industry is blocking nothing. The courts are finding that local authorities are breaking the law in their decision making, because they are not basing their decisions on evidence.
The activists hate this. They don’t think the decisions should be based on evidence.
“Every time you are trying to put forward a public health argument, the lawyers are looking at the detail and trying to shoot that down,” says Dr Stephen Palmer, Wellington Medical Officer of Health.
Detail is another word for evidence.
What the activists don’t like is that any decision to impose restrictions must be based on evidence.