02 December 2006

NZ Drinking Age Legislation Again

Another attempt was made to raise to 20 the age at which New Zealanders can buy alcohol from bottle shops (although it allowed for 18-20 y.o.s to buy and consume drinks on licensed premises). One of the bill's aims was to stop the current widespread practice of 18 y.o.s buying large quantities of alcohol for 14 & 15 y.o. friends. When the legal age for buying alcohol was 20, it was argued, the 'trickle-down' got to 17 & 18 y.o.s and thus was not so bad. There were howls of protest from 18 y.o.s about their rights, with little thought given to the argument that they might have forfeited those rights by buying alcohol for 14 & 15 y.o.s when the drinking age was lowered and they were in effect trusted to behave responsibly.

The bill was defeated. Reading between the lines it seems there was much backroom manoeuvring going on:

Story here.


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