Thumbs up for alcohol reforms


Major alcohol reforms have been passed in Parliament, concluding a four-year debate over drinking laws in New Zealand.

MPs yesterday voted to pass the reforms, designed to reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the Alcohol Reform Bill, which was now divided into three bills, struck a "sensible balance" by reducing the serious harm caused by alcohol without penalising people who drank responsibly. "There will be improvements in the way alcohol can be sold, and there will be some reforms about young people's access to alcohol."

She emphasised the importance of the bill's local alcohol policies, which gave councils power to set their own alcohol rules. If local authorities did not adopt local policies, they would follow national rules such as banning bars from opening between 4am and 8am.

Labour MP Lianne Dalziel said the legislation was toothless and did not address the price, availability or promotion of alcohol.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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