12 Dec 2012

New alcohol law strikes a balance - Collins

6:40 am on 12 December 2012

Justice Minister Judith Collins says a new liquor law strikes a good balance in reducing the harm alcohol causes without penalising people who drink responsibly.

The legislation passed its third reading in Parliament on Tuesday by 108 votes to 13.

The law will will ban alcohol displays and advertising in supermarkets in prominent areas of stores.

It requires parents to give express permission for their children to be supplied with alcohol though keeps the legal age for buying alcohol at 18 after a conscience vote by MPs.

Ms Collins admits she is disappointed the age for purchasing alcohol wasn't lifted, but is confident the laws will reduce alcohol-related harm.

She says councils now have greater powers to set their own alcohol policies and control where liquor stores can be located.

Some opposition MPs argue the laws are not enough to address the country's binge drinking culture.