Dr Cam Calder, National MP, has confirmed he will be voting to increase the purchase age for alcohol to 20, in both On-licences and Off-licences, when the Alcohol Reform Bill comes before Parliament again.
Parliament will consider the purchase age as a conscience vote during the committee stage of the Bill, when changes to the Alcohol Reform Bill return to the House for final consideration next month.
“I have consulted widely in the Manurewa community where my office is based” Dr Calder said.
“A survey of the Manurewa electorate showed 65 percent in favour of a purchase age of 20, 21 percent favoured a split age, and only 13 percent wished to keep the purchase age at 18. 1 percent were unsure”.
“Problem drinking is a major contributor to crime and a significant cause of health problems and disorder in New Zealand communities. Our Alcohol Reform Bill aims to drive a change in our drinking culture through interventions in many areas, not just through the purchase age”.
“I have noted the arguments from ‘Keep it 18’, the Young Nats and others, that if you are old enough to get married, join the Army or vote then you are old enough to drink. However we must accept New Zealand has a huge problem with alcohol”.
“The community I serve, as well as my own research, have determined that I shall support the raising of the alcohol purchase age to 20”.