Key disappointed by alcohol vote
Fri, 31 Aug 2012 11:47a.m.
Parliament's decision to leave the alcohol purchase age unchanged at 18 has surprised and disappointed Prime Minister John Key.
Mr Key favoured splitting the age - leaving it at 18 in bars and raising it to 20 in supermarkets and liquor stores.
But that was the least popular of three choices in front of MPs on Thursday and a run off vote was held to decide whether the age should stay at 18 or be raised to 20.
The status quo won by 68 votes to 53.
"I was very surprised by the vote," Mr Key told reporters in Rarotonga on Friday, where he is attending the Pacific Island Forum meeting.
"I think there was a sense from the New Zealand public that they wanted to see some moderation to the purchase age... I am a little bit disappointed."
Mr Key says he's always been focused on the harm caused to young people by excessive drinking and lifting the purchase age in supermarkets might have helped curb that.
When his preferred option dropped off, Mr Key voted to keep the age at 18.
"I felt that moving it to 20 across the board didn't make sense," he said.
"I think we're seeing a lot of pre-loading, youngsters getting cheap alcohol and drinking a lot before they go to a licensed environment... I wasn't convinced the real harm was happening in that licensed environment."
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10/09/2012 7:23:57 p.m.
Disappointed...yeah right. I'm disappointed I didn't vote 20 but it would have disappointed my alcohol industry friends.
1/09/2012 11:18:44 a.m.
alison, John Key wanted the age split not the status quo! I do think that people need to be personally responsible for their own drinking habits. Having said that, the price of alcohol is very cheap and price does have an impact on what and how much the young folk drink! Raise the prices and stop liquor having 8% content on RTD's !!
1/09/2012 8:04:01 a.m.
I think if we can send boys and girls over seas to some war torn country then we can leave the age at to drink at eighteen we are becoming to much of a police state
1/09/2012 7:40:53 a.m.
Disappointed and yet he voted for status quo?
31/08/2012 5:23:53 p.m.
Parliament needs to represent what the majority of NZ and their voters want not what they personally think!
Also, parents are the role models their children follow when it comes to drinking!
31/08/2012 1:58:44 p.m.
The current soft rules, coupled with a culture that thinks drinking grog is manly, and that's why many kiwi youth are messed up. I left NZ many years ago and can now cast an objective eye on my homeland and see how very dangerous the youth/alcohol/tough kiwi cocktail really is. It's extraordinary. And I only see it in NZ. No wonder youth suicide rates are through the roof and courts are loaded with drunk youth .
31/08/2012 1:07:32 p.m.
simple fact is there are too many outlets, the age is too low, RTDs too strong, and the nightclubs etc are open for too long and kids are drinking at far too young an age.
31/08/2012 12:47:12 p.m.
Mr key Take liquor out of supermarketsOnly people with liquor knowledge can own liquor outlets and make a test for them to pass. Stop councils giving a license to every tom dick and HarryProblem solved.
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