Berl, the booze bill and a backdown

July 7, 2009

Because boozing is among his favourite activities (he prefers to call it networking), Alf has been interested in the brouhaha over a study by Berl.

The NBR kicked it off, at least in terms of news media coverage, and Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr today gets in on the act in the NZ Herald.
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Sobering words for wowsers (but they never listen)

May 8, 2009

Good stuff on booze and booze laws in the Herald’s editorial today.

Every so often Parliament feels a need to “fix” the liquor problem with adjustments to the legal age of purchase or licensing hours or permitted outlets, or all of them. The repair never works. Before long, it is apparent that the social evils associated with alcohol are as rampant as ever and pressure mounts for another legislative remedy.

The pattern has been the same whether the repair was in the direction of prohibition, as it was for most of the first half of the 20th century, or, permissiveness. Since at least the 1960s, when a 6pm pub curfew was lifted and wine permitted in restaurants, the guiding principle has been that easier access to alcohol would produce a more civilised drinking culture.

There is not much doubt that it has done so…

Here’s hoping fellow MPs read this, along with the cranky health zealots and wowsers. Former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, too, as he buries himself in a study of our liquor laws.
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