Today the Herald on Sunday editorial and Kerre McIvor launch into RTD manufacturers.
First up the editorial:
The legislation may need to be revisited to ensure its intentions are clear. Though no parental permission appears to have been given for the supply of alcohol in this instance, the law allowing liquor to be given with parental permission to teenagers below the legal purchasing age may need to include an absolute minimum age for alcohol consumption.
And the sale of canned RTD mixes should be reconsidered too. They are purposely designed for young drinkers. When the law was revised a year ago, the industry was told to voluntarily control these drinks or face regulation. It has set a maximum alcohol content for the cans and banned advertising that appeals to minors.
But sweet drinks in cans will always entice the young. It is time they were banned. Beer, wine, and spirits have a natural child barrier: children by and large do not like them. But potent cocktails are a different proposition for those who are not ready to drink.
The industry says RTDs are giving way to cider among younger adults. It should encourage that trend and phase out RTDs entirely. What better reason does it need than the images of a 9-year-old wasted at a skate park?
That image ought to haunt the liquor industry and legislators for a long time. The video went worldwide and the image may have an impact far beyond New Zealand. The boy, meanwhile, needs help. The police and family services must ensure he receives it. Â Read more »