READER REPORT:

Changing Kiwi booze culture: Get tough on drunk teens

MAREA GOODIN-MCKAY
Last updated 05:00 15/12/2012
Teen drinking
CHRIS GORMAN
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: We need to get tough on public drunkenness.

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The public's tolerance of teen binge drinking in New Zealand needs to stop. To allow Courtenay Pl to be taken over by young drinkers flowing out on to footpaths and in to our taxis and train station should not be tolerated. If you observe it you should speak out.

A change in our culture can only come if it is driven from the top-down. The police need to be resourced to deal with youth drinking. They can only do what they are directed and resourced to do. The top-down approach needs to involve authorities such as councils using by-laws, the police using the powers given to them and also parents and other adults who come in to contact with binge drinkers.

 We have a New Zealand ribbon day against violence; we have mental health rubber arm bands; we have Pink Ribbon Day - it's not hard to raise public awareness of issues. We need a united show of support that public displays of binge drinking will not be tolerated.

Hospitals should refuse to treat drunk people in A & E. Taxis should refuse to give them a fare. Our public transport should refuse to let them on. Our police should take them off the street. The public should frown on drunkenness in restaurants, at the races, anywhere!

Why do we allow Toast Martinborough and other binge-tolerant events? Universities need to take a good long hard look at their tolerance as well.

It's not rocket science, if you want to stop it, you need to stop facilitating it and tolerating it.

Harden up New Zealand.


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