Editorial: Alcohol views demand heed

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Teenage binge drinking is turning into a major problem. Photo / APN
Teenage binge drinking is turning into a major problem. Photo / APN

When an overwhelming majority of people say they want the legal purchasing age for alcohol raised to 20, there is reason to pay attention. The more so if that view is expressed consistently over a period of years. Such has certainly been the case, and a Herald-DigiPoll survey that found 58.6 per cent of respondents favoured that outcome was merely the latest signal that the Government's proposed reform of the liquor laws does not go as far as most people want.

Given the tenor of previous polls and submissions to a Law Commission inquiry, the outcome of the Herald-DigiPoll survey could perhaps have been expected. Nonetheless, the degree of conservative sentiment is surprising.

Many people are clearly weary of excesses, not least teenage binge drinking which they blame on two decades of liberal laws. So much so that only 25.7 per cent see merit in the Government's planned split age - 18 for on-licence premises, such as bars, and 20 for off-licences.

This is part of what is being promoted as a targeted response that would curtail teenage drinking and stop the proliferation of liquor outlets. But while the Government has embraced some of the Law Commission's recommendations, it has rejected others, including restoring the purchasing age to 20. That piece of advice, however, has struck a popular chord, as have demands for tighter controls from the police and public health promoters.

Those who contended that liberal regulations would produce a mature drinking culture always said this might take generations, rather than years. Most people have tired of waiting. They see problems, not progress. The extent of that feeling can hardly be ignored when Parliament resumes its debate on alcohol reform next year.

TE REO VERSION

Tena koutou katoa. Ina puta nga tini akinga a te tino nuinga o te iwi whanui, kia whakapikia te pakeke a-ture mo te hoko waipiro ki te 20 tau, me aro atu tatou ka tika. He rite tonu te puta mai o tenei whakaaro mo etahi tau, ehara i te whakaaro tauhou, e parea ai ki tahaki.

Kao, he korero enei na te tini o te hunga whakaputa whakaaro mo enei kaupapa, koia pea i waitohu ai tona 58.6 orau o te hunga whakautu ki te tirohanga Herald-DigiPoll koira te huarahi hei whai. Ko te tohu hou rawa tenei o te wa, kihai te toki whakatika a te Kawanatanga i nga ture waipiro i ngau ki nga manga tino pirau, e ai ki nga whakaaro o te nuinga.

Me i ata rangona te wairua o nga tirohanga o mua, me nga tapaetanga ki te rapunga whakaaro o te Aka Matua o Te Ture (Law Commission), kua kitea noatia mai pea nga kitenga penei a te tirohanga HeraldDigiPoll. Ahakoa, he mea miharo te pakari o te whakaaro, kia hoki ki o mua tikanga. Ko te tini o te tangata kua hoha ki nga mahi tautauhea, a, ko te inu whakaaro-kore noa iho o te taiohi tetahi wahi nui o tera.

E ai ki te iwi whanui, ko te putake ko nga ture whakangawari i enei mahi, o enei tau rua tekau ka pahure ake nei. Kaore e kore, na kona e 25.7 orau noa iho kei te whakaae ki te wehenga-rua o te pakeke e whakaritea nei e te Kawanatanga - 18 tau mo nga toa pupuri raihana, penei i nga paparakauta, me te 20 tau mo nga wahi hoko waipiro hei kawenga ki wahi ke.

He wahi tenei o tetahi kaupapa i ata tareia, hei pehi atu i te inu a te taiohi, hei tami hoki i te horapatanga o nga toa hoko waipiro i tena pekanga, i tena pekanga. Ahakoa kua tangohia ake e te Kawanatanga etahi o nga tutohutanga a te Aka Matua o Te Ture, kua akiritia etahi atu, tae atu ki te whakahoki i te pakeke mo te hoko waipiro ki te 20.

Otira, he kupu tohutohu tera kua aminetia e te tini o iwi, waihoki nga whakahau a nga pirihimana me te hunga mahi mo te hauora o te iwi kia natia te kaki o te ngarara nei.

Tetahi korero nui a te hunga i kauwhau kia whakatangatangatia te paraire, e kore te ata inu e akona i nga tau ruarua noa, engari taria nga whakatupuranga kei mua i te aroaro, ka kitea nga hua. Mo te nuinga o te iwi, kua taimaha nga whakaaro i te kino haeretanga o te mea nei. Heoi ano te kitenga i mua i nga karu, he raruraru, kei hea te painga ake.

Kia hoki mai te Whare Paremata ki te hapai i tenei o nga take, o te whakahou ture waipiro, a te tau hou, me whakarongo ki enei whakaaro. Ka haere he kainga, he penei ano te korero a te tangata.

- NZ Herald

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