Liquor advertising bill defeated in parliament

TVNZ News 18 June 09

A bill that would have restricted liquor advertising on television to between 10pm and midnight was defeated by 62 votes to 58 in Parliament on Wednesday night. Under current law it is allowed between 8.30pm and midnight. The member’s bill that sought to change it was drafted by former Progressive Party MP Matt Robson in 2005 and went through select committee scrutiny before it reached its second reading stage on Wednesday night. It was passed on to Labour when Robson lost his seat and became the responsibility of Christchurch Central MP Brendon Burns. Burns opened the second reading debate with an appeal for support.

“This bill would actively reduce the overall exposure of children and people under 18 to liquor advertising and promotion by changing the watershed when adverts can be first screened from 8.30pm to 10pm,” he said. “It confronts what can be done immediately to reduce the harm of alcohol advertising.”

..On Wednesday night all MPs had conscience votes but National’s opposition to the bill had not changed. Labour suspected a caucus decision had been taken that bound them all to oppose the bill, but National MPs insisted they had made up their own minds about it. The Greens and the Maori Party supported the bill. United Future opposed it and ACT split its votes