Press Release – Alcohol Action NZ
Nikki Kaye, National MP for Auckland Central, speaking on national television this morning (TV1 Breakfast) admitted that the government has the well-being of the alcohol industry very much in mind as it manages the current alcohol reform process.
This is the first time we recall that a government MP has done this, although we have suspected it all along and said so.
If anyone was wondering why the government has not brought in reforms to put an end to ultra-cheap alcohol or dismantle the relentless promotion of alcohol through advertising and sponsorship deals they now know the reason.
Ms Kaye indicated the government is concerned about bringing in such measures because they might breach trade laws and that that they might undermine the opportunity for the industry to “step up” [with its own self-regulation].
This National-led government seems determined to ignore the best international evidence on effective measures to reduce alcohol-related harm, the Law Commission’s comprehensive review, the advice of national experts, the PMs own scientific advisor, as well as a majority of the public, in order to shepherd through Parliament an Alcohol NON-Reform Bill, which foremost benefits the alcohol industry.
Following the purchase age debate last night, expect a government charm offensive to begin, aimed at convincing everyone that the government remains serious about alcohol-related harm and the urgent need for reform.
In fact, the PM has already been in the media today saying that 130 of the 156 recommendations of the Law Commission for the Alcohol Reform Bill are yet to be debated.
What he carefully omits to say is that anything in the Law Commission’s recommendations which might impact on the well-being of the alcohol industry has been carefully put to one side.