2 Jul 2010

PM's science adviser wants drinking age raised

2:59 pm on 2 July 2010

The Prime Minister's chief science adviser has added his voice to calls for the drinking age to be raised.

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman has released an interim report on issues affecting teenagers, saying about one in ten young people experience serious difficulties with alcohol and illicit drug use.

The report's authors - ten experts in social sciences and clinical sciences - recommend that consideration be given to measures to reduce alcohol harm among adolescents.

Sir Peter says research shows young people and adults differ in their responses to alcohol and a significant number of young people who binge drink end up in situations they later regret, though he says raising the drinking age alone will not solve those problems.

On Wednesday, 14 well-known New Zealanders pushed for alcohol reform at Parliament, calling on the Government to raise the drinking age and increase alcohol prices.

The group includes former governors-general Sir Paul Reeves and Dame Silvia Cartwright, church leaders and rowing champions Caroline Meyer and Georgina Earl.