Family First NZ is encouraging family groups and community organisations to make submissions to the Law Commission as part of their review of the liquor laws.
“The culture of harmful drinking amongst some New Zealanders has massive consequences for families and children,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “If we really want to tackle important issues like child abuse and violence, including family violence, the harm of alcohol abuse is an obvious place to start.”
“Every report I have read regarding child abuse and family violence says that alcohol abuse is a major contributing factor. A child is hugely at risk when an adult is under the influence of alcohol, and a recent survey by Massey University found that more than half of our sexual and physical assaults occurred whilst the offender was under the influence of alcohol. Our teenagers are binge drinking at an earlier age, and our health and justice system is clogged up with the fallout from our drinking culture.”
“In 1989 and then again in 1999, the politicians increased the availability of alcohol in our communities with more alcohol outlets and increased trading hours, lowered the drinking age, and have since failed to respond to the concerns of families regarding the harm of alcohol despite glaringly obvious problems.”
“The Law Commission review is our opportunity to demand changes in our liquor laws which will better protect families.”
Family First is supporting the general thrust of the Law Commission’s own review of the laws and is joining the call for the reduced marketing and advertising of alcohol, reducing alcohol accessibility and trading hours, raising the tax on alcohol, raising the drinking age, stronger penalties for selling to underage, penalties for public drunkenness, and increased treatment opportunities.
“We also want health warnings on alcohol products and advertising which has worked so effectively with tobacco use,” says Mr McCoskrie
“Community and charitable organizations working in the community and with families will be well aware of the harms of alcohol abuse amongst both adults and teenagers and within families. We are pleading with them to speak up and join our call for laws which address some of the serious social problems which have resulted from our liberalised laws over the past two decades.” SUBMISSIONS CLOSE FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER
READ Family First NZ Submission