14 May 2009

Minister's comments upset at ALAC conference

10:19 pm on 14 May 2009

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne upset education and health professionals on Thursday over comments made at an Alcohol Advisory Council conference in Wellington.

The Government is revising its National Alcohol Plan, to tackle the growing problem of alcohol abuse, and Mr Dunne says alcohol producers must be involved.

Mr Dunne told the conference he has no tolerance for those who hold what he calls the old-fashioned view that working with the liquor industry is akin to collaboration with the enemy.

He says the liquor industry has a legitimate point of view to present.

But public health advocates were shocked by Mr Dunne's comments. They say the liquor industry is fuelled by profit and it is a conflict of interest to have them involved.

Lion Nathan says these views are extreme and it will support any regulation backed by evidence proving it will curb alcohol abuse.

The Law Commission is conducting a major review of alcohol laws.