New Zealand - Politics and Alcohol in NZ - Robson-On-Politics

Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by ~lostgurl~, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    Dec 23, 2004
    from Australia
    Robson-On-Politics - 1 November 2006

    Wednesday, 1 November 2006, 12:59 pm
    Column: Matt Robson
    But commonsense policies to benefit families?

    But United Future also describes itself as a party that 'guarantees commonsense policies that benefit the New Zealand family'.
    There is no question that the biggest drug problem hurting families is alcohol and there is no question also that a large majority of families want Parliament to tighten standards around liquor marketing and advertising aimed at children and to raise the legal minimum age at which you can purchase alcohol to help stem some of the supply of alcohol used for unsupervised consumption not just by 17-year-olds, but 16-, 15- and even 14-year olds.

    There is also no question that Parliament's decisions in the 1980s and 1990s to relax liquor marketing standards, liberalize liquor retailing rules and reduce the purchasing age, contributed to an increase in problems experienced by some very young teenagers and caused pain and suffering to them and their families.
    Libertarians, like those in ACT, say that no matter what the evidence of harm to children Parliament should not raise the purchasing age to 20 (or 21, as in the United States), because that would be too big an infringement on the inalienable right of 18- and 19-year-olds' rights to buy alcohol.
    Progressive of course disagrees with ACT.
    We believe that the proposed infringement of 18 and 19 year olds' shopping rights is a price worth taking to help protect more 14- and 15-year-olds' mental and physical health in the same way that 90-year-olds' alcohol consumption rights are infringed by liquor-bans at public places in the interests of promoting community-wide benefits.
    ACT probably also opposes liquor-bans in public places - its libertarian position is what it says it is in Parliament to promote: In a slogan, "Me, Me, ME!".

    But United Future? What of United's position on the issue?
    It says it is in Parliament to be on the side of the family but its leader, Peter Dunne, is lined up with ACT to vote against the Progressive Party Bill.
    Now he will vote against the Progressive bill , which is based on the based on the best public health evidence , to reduce the harm of alcohol. I think it is a completely indefensible position for the leader of a party that claims to be in Parliament as the champion of families.
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