Banks slammed over drinking age vote
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 9:39a.m.
By 3 News online staff
ACT on Campus says it is disappointed party leader John Banks will be voting for a split drinking age in tonight's conscience vote.
Parliament tonight will vote on the alcohol purchase age, and MPs will have three choices - split the age, keeping it at 18 in bars and raising it to 20 for supermarkets and liquor stores; keeping it at 18 in both cases, as it is now; or raising it to 20 for all purchases.
“Mr Banks' choice to vote in favour of punishing responsible 18 and 19-year-olds is shortsighted, and goes against the ACT Party principles of choice and personal responsibility,” says ACT on Campus president Hayden Fitzgerald.
“We invite John to publicly share his explanation on how tinkering with the alcohol purchase age will help solve problem drinking in New Zealand and why he thinks that voting, fighting, working young adults should have their legal rights restricted."
Mr Banks surprised many last night by voting in favour of Labour MP Louisa Wall's Marriage Amendment Bill, which ACT on Campus backed. In the 1980s, he argued strongly against the Homosexual Law Reform Act that legalised sex between consenting men over the age of 16.
When asked why he was voting for Ms Wall's private member's bill, he said, "Because I am."
But he doesn't side with the party's influential youth wing on the drinking age.
When asked why he didn't want to keep it as it is, he replied: "There's a lot of people that want to keep a lot of stuff."
In 1999, four ACT MPs voted to lower the drinking age to 18, and one – Owen Jennings – voted to keep the status quo.
Mr Fitzgerald says it is inconsistent to let young people join the army and vote, but not be allowed to "drink a glass of wine at home".
"If the law offers these choices and responsibilities to those young adults, then they should rightfully have the same when it comes to alcohol," says Mr Fitzgerald.
The vote will be taken at 5:30pm tonight.
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31/08/2012 7:39:44 a.m.
I agree with the status quo re legal age, BUT make public drunkenness illegal ( as it was once) with Police able to arrest/enforce instant fines, and for those under 18, make the parents face legal responsibiilties.
30/08/2012 4:55:55 p.m.
Changing the age to 20 isnt going to change nothing becouse 18 year olds like myself drink more at home an then go to town than stay pub becouse its so expensive. If anything it should be introduced at 16 so that they will be more responsible when thay become adults.
Seriusly What will you accomplish by raizing the age?
30/08/2012 1:54:18 p.m.
How lucky it is to be a forty or a sixty year old binge drinker these days.
30/08/2012 1:43:25 p.m.
Madness I think you should read this: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00458/problems-not-increased-since-lowering-the-drinking-age.htm
30/08/2012 12:43:57 p.m.
ACT on Campus is a waste of TIME!!!
30/08/2012 11:32:13 a.m.
Raise it back to 20 and be really strick on it along with it. Underage drinkers need to be hit hard to make them sort themselves out.
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