Rotorua MP Todd McClay says he fully supports the Government’s proposed changes to the Alcohol Reform Bill and says that they are an important step forward in promoting responsible attitudes to alcohol consumption.
“I’m in favour of any measures which help to reduce alcohol-related harm in our community. Of particular concern is the access that young people have to alcohol. For this reason I will be fully supporting measures to offer parents more tools to decide how young people have access to alcohol.
“Currently it is not against the law to provide a minor with alcohol without parental consent. This is concerning and the law needs to change," he said.
Mr McClay said he had consulted with hundreds of people in his electorate over the last 18 months, holding more than 20 public meetings to discuss elements of the bill with his constituents.
“I have also run newspaper based surveys to get a feel for the communities concerns on this issue,” he said.
“I’ve received a massive amount of feedback from people in the electorate about this bill. This tells me our community is not only backing a change to New Zealand’s drinking culture but they’re prepared be involved in the process and have their say.
“Based on these consultations I am inclined to vote for a split purchase age of 18 for on-licence premises such as bars, restaurants and sports clubs, and 20 for off-licences such as supermarkets and liquor stores'" he said.
“I will however continue to talk to the people of the Rotorua electorate about these changes over the coming months before casting a vote.
“This bill will empower our community to determine where and how alcohol is sold, increase personal and parental responsibility for the supply of alcohol and introduce a risk-based licence fee regime.”
The bill is set to return to Parliament for final consideration next month.
It was introduced to Parliament in November 2010 and was reported back from Parliament’s Justice and Electoral Committee in August 2011.