Maori Party seeks harsher penalties for liquor law flouters

Businesses caught selling alcohol to minors should lose their liquor licences permanently and not be allowed a second chance, says Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.

Mrs Turia, who is MP for Te Tai Hauauru, was responding to a sting in Porirua at the weekend when four of 17 on-licence and off-licence premises targeted around the city were caught selling liquor to minors.

Police said it was a disappointing result and the businesses in question, which included a supermarket, were referred to the Liquor Licensing Authority for further action.

"In Porirua alone there are at least 66 businesses selling alcohol so they must take responsibility for ensuring they only sell to people of legal age," Mrs Turia said.

She said a zero-tolerance approach needed to be shown to those selling to minors. "There should be no second chance. The health and wellbeing of our communities is paramount."

Mrs Turia said the Maori Party wanted the Government to put legislation in place to limit the number of alcohol outlets, particularly those which hold off-licences, in poor communities and give communities a say as to whether they supported having an alcohol outlet.

Those recommendations were among many made in a recent Law Commission report on liquor laws which are being considered by the Government.




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