INDEPENDENT NEWS

Educators Stunned at Drinking Age Vote

Published: Thu 9 Nov 2006 09:38 AM
MEDIA RELEASE
09 November 2006
Educators Stunned at Drinking Age Vote
Parent education group “Drug Proofing Your Kids” from Focus on the Family NZ was stunned to hear Members of Parliament had rejected the overwhelming public desire to see the drinking age raised back to twenty.
Programme director, Jennie Milne, said “Many politicians showed a distinct lack of preparation and a flagrant disregard for public opinion in their voting.”
Even more upsetting is the way the youth aid officers, school counselors, A staff, school principals and the public of New Zealand have been ignored in their pleas to change.
“Here was an opportunity to begin to turn the tide of growing alcohol abuse; to provide parents and police with an effective tool in helping to delay the onset of drinking and binge drinking.”
Late in the afternoon, just hours before the debate was scheduled to occur, the government announced a review of the sale of liquor would be undertaken regardless of the outcome of the vote. Rather than being a conscience vote it appears to have been engineered along party lines.
We agree with Jim Anderton’s comments about the fact that alcohol is New Zealand’s biggest drug problem; far more damaging and widely spread in it’s destructive effects across all society than P and cannabis.
It was never going to be the total solution, but it could have been a decision that displayed listening skills and leadership. Instead our political representatives have dodged the tough decision and satisfied themselves with a “review.”
“The only upside is, somewhat tragically, there is an ever growing need for our services,” added Mrs Milne
ENDS

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