New drinking laws now in force

By Staff Reporter

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Around 90 people have attended Ruapehu District Council meetings in Ohakune and Taumarunui on the implications of the changes to the alcohol laws.

The amendments to the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, which come into full effect today, will mean significant changes to the rules that govern the sale and supply of liquor for both licensed premises and the public.

RDC senior environmental health officer, Mohammed Ishrar, said that it was fantastic to see the large turnout and that people involved with liquor in Ruapehu are working hard to get up to speed with the changes.

"It is important that people note that these new law changes don't just affect licensed premises but also affect the general public and how they may offer alcohol to people in their own homes."

"It will be illegal to supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 18 unless you have express consent from their parent or legal guardian."

"This means people with teenagers at their summer barbecues and parties are going to have to be careful that they don't put themselves on the wrong side of the new law."

"Offering a beer or wine to a teenager without parental or guardian consent could see you being fined up to $2000."

Mr Ishrar said that other changes that affect the public include new on-the-spot fines. He noted that the amendments to the liquor laws are clearly aimed at minimising the harm caused by excessive drinking and improving New Zealand's drinking culture.

"Ruapehu communities through council's new District Licensing Committee will be in a better position to make their voices heard around how alcohol is sold or supplied in their town."

Ruapehu's DLC is commissioner Ross Murphy and deputy mayor Marion Gillard who is deputy chairwoman, councillor Karen Ngatai and Mike Gaven."

"Anyone who wants to know more about the law changes can go to the council's website www.ruapehudc.govt.nz which also has links to the Ministries website, or alternatively they can call their local council office."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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