Otaki MP Nathan Guy
Otaki MP Nathan Guy says he will be supporting a split purchasing age for alcohol when a conscience vote is held in Parliament.
"I have given the purchase age for alcohol a lot of thought and after reading the Law Commission report and listening to the views of the public I've decided to support a split age for purchasing alcohol.
"This means 18 year olds will still be able to drink in pubs and restaurants but the age limit will be 20 to buy alcohol at bottle stores and supermarkets.
"I think this is the best solution at this point in time. We clearly have a problem with binge drinking in our community and this can cause a lot of harm. At the same time though we don't want to punish the majority of people who drink sensibly.
"We've seen plenty of examples of the harm that excessive drinking can cause locally. Recently in Kapiti 100 teenagers at a birthday party trashed a house, attacked police and terrified local residents.
"Kapiti and Horowhenua police tell me they deal with binge drinking every weekend.
"Changing the law alone won't change the binge drinking culture over night, but it will send a strong message."
The Government is responding to calls for action with new legislation to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. Other measures include set closing times for bars, tighter rules around supplying alcohol to minors and more power for local communities over licensing.
"I believe these reforms strike the right balance between harm reduction and trusting responsible New Zealanders to make the right decisions about their drinking."
Legislation is likely to be introduced to Parliament in October and passed into law next year. The public will be able to make submissions through the select committee process.