Recent research by the New Zealand Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee has shown that more than one young New Zealander under 25 is dying every week from alcohol-related causes. In reaction to these figures the committee urges parliament to ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship links with sports, among other things.
The Child and Youth Mortality Review Committee also found that an average of 61 young New Zealanders died each year between 2005 and 2007 in six kinds of accidents and assaults where alcohol was either a contributing factor or the main cause of the deaths.
The committee describes alcohol like ´a toxic tide impinging on all children and young people born and growing up in New Zealand´. Among the measures to be taken, the committee argues for toughening up the current Alcohol Reform Bill to raise alcohol prices, raise the drinking age, and ban alcohol advertising and sponsorship links with sports.
However, Justice Minister Simon Power responded that the Alcohol Reform Bill addressed the issues raised by the committee, including a clause raising the age limit for buying alcohol from liquor stores and supermarkets from 18 to 20.
Lianne Dalziel, associate justice spokeswoman of the Labour Party, however insists on toughening up the bill by imposing minimum legal prices for standard drinks and further restrictions on alcohol advertising.
Dalziel also pointed out that the drinking age should not be the main issue because alcohol was a problem in all age groups.
Source: nzherald.co.nz (09/08/11)