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NZ: Great and the good to lobby for tighter alcohol laws

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A group of prominent people in New Zealand will petition Parliament tomorrow (30 June) for tougher alcohol laws.

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The 14-strong delegation is being led by former Governor-General Sir Paul Reeves and includes another former Governor-General, three archbishops, community leaders and sports stars, notably the ex-All Black rugby player, Inga Tuigamala.

The group will be calling for a rise in the legal drinking age, increasing alcohol prices and implementing other recommendations from 'Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm', a government-commissioned report on alcohol misuse published by the New Zealand Law Commission two months ago.

“We are coming to Wellington to deliver a strong message to the Government about the need to make the most of the current once-in-a-generation-opportunity to find better solutions to our country’s alcohol crisis,” Sir Paul said. “Positive new alcohol legislation needs to be introduced with urgency to deal with an increasingly out-of-control situation of heavy drinking in New Zealand”.

The group will also ask MPs to ditch their commitment to making alcohol policy a “conscience vote” leaving the way open for alcohol measures to be integrated with a package of reforms.

The move follows the publication of the Law Commission report and the endorsement last month at the Anglican synod in Gisborne of a multi-stranded package of reforms being proposed by Alcohol Action NZ.


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