Sallies call for changes to way alcohol is sold

Kiwis knocked back an extra 20 million ready-to-drink alcoholic drinks in the past year, prompting calls for supermarkets and dairies to be banned from selling liquor after 10pm.

The revelation has come out of The Salvation Army's fifth State of the Nation report, The Growing Divide.

All up we drank our way through 66 million litres of RTDs.

The report's author is Alan Johnson, senior policy analyst for The Salvation Army's Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.

He said abuse of alcohol was a growing problem in New Zealand, and that often blame was unfairly given to pubs and clubs.

"When we are talking about where the problem lies we have to think about takeaways in the backyard and garage parties," he said.

"That is doing more damage.

"It is far too easy in this country to walk down the road late at night after you have been drinking to get some more alcohol."

The answer needed to be a limit on the availability of liquor in neighbourhoods, Mr Johnson said.

"There needs to be regulations in place to make sure all shops selling alcohol close at a certain time.

"I can't see why alcohol needs to be sold outside the hours of 10am to 10pm."

"'I think it is crazy you can walk into a supermarket and buy a bottle of wine for $6," he said. "No wonder people are binge drinking."

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Waikato Times