27 July 2006

More On The Alcohol Issue: New Zealand Status Quo

The de facto drinking age here in New Zealand, since 1999, is 18 (before that it was 20). Though strictly speaking (I just found out) this is not actually the legal drinking age but the legal alcohol purchasing age.

In 2005 there was a bill put forward in Parliament to raise the drinking age back to 20. Doctors were significant campaigners for it:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/feature/story.cfm?c_id=550&objectid=3549473

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/organisation/story.cfm?o_id=447&ObjectID=10124327

But the bill was defeated.

Recently, there has been an ad campaign on TV, "It's not the drinking. It's how we drink" (!) with quite vivid scenarios depicted of people making idiots out of themselves in various ways. More details here: http://www.alcohol.org.nz/CampaignItsNotTheDrinking.aspx. It would be interesting to look at some statistics regarding these ads' effectiveness.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

The "It's not the drinking, it's how we drink" page referred to includes the statement "We don’t drink in a measured fashion." This is at the high end of condescending. No, sunshine, "WE" do drink in a measured fashion. Some people don't, and they threaten our lives when in control of cars. Propose a policy to deal with it by all means, but don't start out by spreading the blame to all and sundry.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Cathy Legg said...

Yes the wording strikes me as a strange compromise on a number of levels. What if it *is* the drinking? (for some).

Having said that, the scenarios themselves are well-constructed and might cause discomfort in those who exhibit the same behavior but don't always see it in the mirror. There's one with a drunk Dad prying his daughter off her boyfriend to get her to dance with him at a wedding which is particularly cringe-worthy.

This is only one of the social engineering fronts on which the NZ Labour govt, often accused of being something of a nanny-state, is taking action at present. I'll do some research and post some more.....

3:40 PM  

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