Kiwis’ drinking culture criticised as Auckland police ramp up presence in city due to disorder

NewsHub 26 June 2020
Family First Comment: “New Zealand could address excessive drinking by raising the price of alcohol and finding an earlier closing time for bars, many of which can trade until 4am in Auckland. “We know that many people who are going and drinking in town and drinking excessively have preloaded at home and that is because it is so cheap. What we really need to do is address the price of alcohol in our country, to reduce the differential between bars and bottle stores and supermarkets. “Until we address the price of alcohol we are still going to have high levels of alcohol-related violence in our CBD.”
And this is why Family First supports the 5+ solution – Raise price, raise purchase age, reduce accessibility, reduce advertising & sponsorship, target drink-driving (plus increase treatment availability).        

A group working to reduce alcohol-related harm says Kiwis still have an issue with placing drinking at the “centre of the occasion” as police increase their presence in central Auckland after two weekends of disorder.

Auckland City district commander Supt Karyn Malthus revealed on Thursday night officers had observed an increase in assaults and disorders over the last two weekends in the central city, after the Government lifted COVID-19 restrictions on bars and nightclubs.

Malthus said they were being “fuelled by excessive alcohol consumption” and more officers would be present in the CBD this weekend to “ensure the safety of those coming into the for nightlife over the coming weekends”.

“Police have been working with our partners, including city bar owners, to look at how processes can be improved to move people out of venues efficiently come closing time.”

Executive director of Alcohol Healthwatch Nicki Jackson told Newshub Kiwis continue to have an issue with preloading. She says excessive drinking ultimately can lead to harm coming to the consumer as well as others.

“In New Zealand, it is all about making drinking the centre of the occasion and I think we need to do something about that. It’s not all about your level of drunkenness for the night – your night out is about a whole other range of experiences.”
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