Sign of the coming apocalypse: Drinking age to twenty

Sign of the coming apocalypse: Drinking age to twenty

The National Government has expedited the third reading of the Alcohol Reform Bill, which will introduce a raft of changes to the way that alcohol is sold in New Zealand.

One of the more noteworthy changes is a split age for the purchasing of alcohol, which would allow 18-year-olds onto licenced premises, but prevent them from purchasing alcohol at an off-licence. Other changes will prevent dairies from selling alcohol and will place a 6% alcohol content cap on RTDs.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says that the Bill aims to target binge drinking without punishing those that drink responsibly. “The changes support a shift [in] drinking culture, away from drinking to excess, towards responsible, moderate alcohol consumption.”

However, not everyone is happy with the changes. Professor Doug Sellman, the Director of the National Addiction Centre, compared the Bill to a “disappointing damp squib” (a squib is a is a non-magical person who is born to at least one magical parent). He claimed proposed changes were “timid and worse than weak.”

Parliament will not vote along party lines when the Bill comes up next month. Instead, each MP will be allowed to cast a so-called conscience vote. Third readings are usually little more than ceremony, so next year’s freshers had better start learning how to brew their own SoGos.
This article first appeared in Issue 10, 2012.
Posted 12:51am Monday 7th May 2012 by Staff Reporter.