Alcohol Reform Bill
Last year the Law Commission published a report titled "Alcohol in Our Lives: Curbing the Harm".
This report recognised the increasing toll that intoxication and excessive drinking is having on the nation's level of health. As a result of that report the Alcohol Reform Bill was drafted to facilitate and encourage a safer and more responsible drinking culture, especially among young people. If passed the Bill will repeal and replace the Sale of Liquor Act 1989. Many of the provisions of the Sale of Liquor Act will be carried over, however the Bill also proposes a number of major changes to our primary liquor laws. The most significant and controversial areas of change include:
- the minimum age for purchasing alcohol;
- trading hours for suppliers;
- local alcohol policies;
- advertising; and
- a change from the Liquor Licensing Authority to the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority.
The Bill proposes a "split-age" approach in relation to the purchase of alcohol. It proposes to increase the minimum age for purchase of alcohol from off-licensed premises, such as supermarkets and bottle shops, to 20 years of age or over. It is proposed that the age restriction on purchasing alcohol from on-licensed premises, such as bars and entertainment venues, remains unchanged at 18 years of age or over.
The Bill also prescribes maximum trading hours for the supply of liquor. Default trading hours for the supply of liquor would be set between 8am and 4am on the following day for on-licensed premises and between 7am and 11pm for off-licensed premises. However any newly introduced Local Authority Policies (see below) may impose more lenient or stringent trading hours than the default hours.
Local Authority Policies (LAP)
The Bill empowers communities to cater specifically to their needs by adopting local alcohol policies. LAPs allow local communities to have more say on the trading hours of alcohol outlets in the community.
Currently, the alcohol industry is allowed to regulate its own advertising. The Bill seeks to change this by strengthening advertising controls relating to liquor and alcoholic products. For example, promotions that involve heavily discounted alcoholic products will be deemed to be unacceptable.
Many people suggest that the Bill will have little to no effect on the multitude of issues caused by alcohol in this country. The Bill is evidence of an attempt to balance the interest of New Zealanders while trying to maintain a sustainable liquor industry within which manufacturers and retailers are not severely prejudiced.
“I have used Turner Hopkins for my legal services for over eight years. I have always found their level of service excellent and their work to a very high standard. I have used various lawyers at their firm for various businesses I have been involved with and have always had very positive experiences. I would highly recommend them.”
“John is very easy to talk to, he never makes you feel dumb, and never makes you feel like you are wasting his time for asking questions. He explains everything very clearly, every time. John's support staff are also very efficient and so easy to deal with. No detail is missed when dealing with them. My husband and I are fans of them all :)”
“To Michael Robinson – I wanted to thank you and your colleagues for many years of excellent service to the Bank. You have an outstanding business that has proved to be one of the most reliable and ethical businesses that Collections have dealt with in the almost 9 years I was with the Bank.”
“I can't speak highly enough of Jenny. She got everything done in a timely manner and when my ex-husband threw a spanner in the works at the eleventh hour she got the required documentation to his lawyers and settlement back on track.”
“I have struggled with different legal firms over the years, but over the past few years I have engaged with Turner Hopkins with various requirements from personal relating to wills, family trust, property settlements and contracts through to commercial engagements including employment advice, commercial lease agreements and general legal advice. I have engaged with a number of the people in the firm and always found them professional, punctual in their responses and very sound in the advice provided.”