• Ministers plan to raise purchase age
  • Pre-mixed drinks above 5% abv to be banned
  • Government will consider minimum pricing on drinks
New Zealands Govt will consider minimum pricing

New Zealand's Gov't will consider minimum pricing

New Zealand's Government has said it will raise the minimum age for buying alcohol in the country's off-trade to 20 from 18, as part of a crackdown on drinks sales.

The minimum age for buying alcoholic drinks will remain 18 in bars and restaurants but will rise in the retail sector, New Zealand's Government announced today (23 August). Its move forms a central piece of a long-awaited plan to reduce harmful drinking in the country.

In a further restriction on sales, the Goverment said that pre-mixed drinks with an abv of more than 5% will be banned from sale in the country. Local authorities are also to get greater powers to decide on the number of licences to sell alcohol available in their area and opening hours for both retailers and bars.

Ministers said that they would not rule out minimum pricing on drinks and said that the policy would be investigated. Retailers have been given one year to supply the Government with sales data.

"Alcohol is estimated to contribute to 1,000 deaths a year, and is a major driver of crime, being implicated in 30% of all police recorded offences, 34% of recorded family violence and 50% of all homicides," said justice minister Simon Power.

"I hope to introduce legislation to Parliament in October and plan to pass it into law before the end of this parliamentary term," he said.

For a full list of the proposed changes, click here.