New laws' liquor restrictions hailed

17:49, Dec 11 2012

New alcohol legislation was passed in Parliament last night.

MPs had already voted on the clauses and amendments to three bills, including a majority vote to keep the purchase age at 18.

The Sale and Supply of Alcohol Bill, the Local Government (Alcohol Reform) Amendment Bill and the Summary Offences (Alcohol Reform) Amendment Bill were passed with a majority vote on all three.

All 59 National MPs voted for the bills, while 32 Labour MPs voted for them and two against.

The Maori Party, NZ First and newly independent MP Brendan Horan voted against the bills while the Greens, ACT and UnitedFuture voted for them.

The bills stemmed from the Alcohol Reform Bill, introduced to Parliament in mid-2010, in response to a Law Commission report. They include moves to allow communities a say on alcohol licensing, introduce stronger rules on the types of stores able to sell alcohol and restrict supermarkets and grocery stores to displaying alcohol in a single area.

Justice Minister Judith Collins said the bill marked a milestone.

"For the first time in more than two decades Parliament has acted to restrict, rather than relax, our drinking laws.

"The Government recognises that social change cannot be achieved through legislation alone. We are all responsible for reducing alcohol-related harm and for changing our drinking culture."

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The Dominion Post