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1000 Strong Shout For Alcohol Law Reform

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
1000 Strong Shout For Alcohol Law Reform

Around 1000 people braved today's weather to attend a public march/rally calling for alcohol law reform in Manukau City - with hundreds marching from three locations across the city.

The march/rally called upon the Government to adopt the full package of recommendations put forward by the Law Commission in its report entitled Alcohol in our Lives: Curbing the Harm.

Guest speakers at the rally included Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army, Professor Doug Sellman of the National Addictions Centre and Alcohol Action NZ, Labour leader Hon Phil Goff, Greens MP David Clendon and National MP Dr Paul Hutchinson.

Manukau Alcohol Action Group co-ordinator Rebecca Williams said the march/rally demonstrated the concern over alcohol-related harm that families and communities experience every day.

"We simply cannot continue with how things are - today we ask the Government to adopt the Law Commission's well considered recommendations and show some leadership on this issue.

"We simply do not need more research or more reviews, we need action and we need it now."

Salvation Army representative Major Campbell Roberts said politicians need to be courageous and stand up for the victims of alcohol abuse in this country.

"We are here today because we support and want political support for the blueprint that Sir Geoffrey Palmer and the Law Commission have given the nation. A sensible, sane agenda which, when implemented in its entirety, will drastically alter the negative impacts of alcohol in New Zealand."

Professor Doug Sellman of the National Addictions Centre said if the Government's recent performance on drink driving is anything to go by, the signs are not good.

"They appear to be framing the heavy drinking culture as a youth problem, and they are calling for more research to delay measures that would actually make a significant difference."

Manukau Alcohol Action Group member and Otara resident Poutoa Papali'i said he hopes our politicians will grasp the community sentiment shown today in Manukau.

"There really needs to be significant changes to our current liberal liquor laws if we are to see positive changes in our society."

Participants of the march/rally have called upon the Government to implement the entire package of Law Commission proposals. These include increasing alcohol prices, restoring the purchase age to 20, restricting liquor marketing and promotion, reducing alcohol availability and lowering the adult blood alcohol limit for driving to 0.05 - all recommendations that are backed by strong evidence to show they reduce harm.

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