Talks on teens, alcohol

The recurrent topic of teenagers and alcohol will be thrashed out at a series of talks in Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell this year.

The sessions are being organised and supported by several organisations, including Queenstown's Youth Access to Alcohol (Yata) committee.

Yata member Ann Fowler said the sessions were all about supporting parents and providing them with information, but anyone in the community, especially those supplying young people with alcohol, was welcome to attend.

From December 18 last year, new laws on supplying alcohol to under-18s came into effect in New Zealand. From now on people cannot supply alcohol to someone under the age of 18 unless the person supplying is the parent, legal guardian or has the express consent of the young person's parent or legal guardian.

The alcohol must be supplied in a responsible manner. People face fines of up to $2000 if they do not follow the law.

First speaker Nathan Mikaere-Wallis, of Christchurch, will discuss research on alcohol and drugs in the teenage years.

Mr Mikaere-Wallis has a professional background in child counselling, teaching and social service management.

He serves on several boards, including Brainwave, Cholmondeley Children's Home, the Champion Centre and Big Brothers and Sisters.

The first of the talks, ''On the same wavelength as your teenager'', will be held in Wanaka on February 10 at 7.30pm at the Wanaka Community Centre and in Queenstown on February 11 at 7.30pm at Wakatipu High School.

The Cromwell session will be held during school hours.