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Anglican Bishop Seeks More Than A Conscience Vote On Alcohol

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Ross Bay
Ross Bay

The Anglican Bishop of Auckland, The Right Reverend Ross Bay, believes the opportunity to address how alcohol is regulated in society needs to be addressed by Parliament with strong leadership and cross party agreement. Bishop Bay says any moves by the government to address a national crisis of binge drinking are to be welcomed but he has a guarded response to today's proposed changes. "We need strong leadership for this generation and Parliament needs to act and show leadership for such a significant issue in society.

Bishop Bay has long carried a concern about the negative trends in drinking behaviour among some New Zealanders. He considers that the shift to a lower legal age in 1999 has been a big factor in the growing youth alcohol problem.

Bishop Bay says MPs can take the lead with cross party action on such an important issue for the nation. He is pleased to see some changes being treated as government policy. "Legislation will not fully solve the problem but it can send a strong signal to society that it is time to change attitudes. MPs can provide leadership on this and vote as a unified body rather than turning to a conscience vote for the proposed age split regarding the purchase of alcohol."

The Bishop supports the Alcohol Action New Zealand 5+ proposal as evidence based solutions to the alcohol crisis. The Auckland Diocesan Synod convenes from September 2-4 and one motion for debate is for parishes and ministry units to be involved in the 5+ solutions campaign.

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