Minimum alcohol prices

Farrar and I both blogged yesterday on Labour’s policy to impose minimum prices on alcohol.

Overnight they started frantically backtracking from this policy claiming no decisions had been made about what level to set the price at.

But Lianne Dalziel (Labour’s alcohol spokesperson) has said on numerous occasions that the minimum price should be set at $2 a standard drink.

She said it here,  here, and here among other examples.

“And that’s why we must address price – there must be a minimum price – something like $2 per  standard drink.”

Now Labour is saying that’s not their policy… I wonder why?

Could it be because, for example, a stubby, or can, of a beer like Tui contains one standard drink

That’s a minimum of $24 a dozen under Labour’s policy, when it was going for $19 at the supermarket this morning.

Telling hardworking Kiwis that their beer and wine is going up was a disaster for Labour when Nordmeyer tried it, but what’s worse with Labour’s current policy, is that the Government doesn’t get the money – the alcohol industry keeps it.

Given the backsliding going on this morning, perhaps the geniuses in Labour have finally worked out that this policy will piss off a whole pile of blue collar Kiwis that they can’t afford to lose.

Epic policy fail.


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  • logical

    They must have read Whaleoil and realised they had made fools of themselves…..again.

    • davewin

       And so the boozers all head back to Home Brew as per Nordmeyer’s time, but now the fortune is to be made in distillation. Backyard distillation could yield megabucks, and have the police running in double circles – do they chase the P Labs or the manufacturers of illicit hooch. Maybe Charlie Shovel needs to take another look at the “Untouchables” to see how this ends.

      • Spiker

         Yep the fuckwits can do whatever to the price. I’ll just fire up my still & carry on.

      • WayneO

        Indeed, and a distiller can make some darn good hooch if they know their stuff.

  • Michael

    Ontario’s LCBO sets minimum prices for alcohol. It’s not done the way Labour are pitching their policy. 

    Actually, alcohol prices are not the problem. Crack addicts still get their fix despite the costs. 

    NZ needs to change it’s social opinion on what is acceptable in terms of alcohol consumption. I think structuring prices to deter consumption is a lie and only a revenue grab. 

    If Labour were serious about changing how we consume alcohol, then we would see moves around availability, drinking ages, advertising guidelines and so forth. Anything less is a shameless grab for votes. 

    Also, National should get off it’s hands and do something about our culture towards alcohol. National could make both a tactical and strategic move against Labour by taking the problem seriously and out doing Labour on this shallow policy. 

    • Ford

      beer.lies and matter what the sales pitch is its always about the money

      • Michael

        I agree to a point. However, fixing the drinking age, removing alcohol from supermarkets, enforcing rules around locations of bottle stores, the number of bottle stores in a community etc all help. A law in Ontario that I like was there must be no “vessel” of alcohol within reach of a car driver. So, you have to store your stash in the boot of your car. You passengers can’t drink in the car either. 

        Universities should also have their funding cut for supporting in O week parties. Things like this set the tone for social responsibility with out penalizing those that drink responsibly. Alcohol can be highly profitable for the govt and it can be done responsible. 

      • Ford

        michael..i wasnt meaning specifically alcohol..a sales pitch about anything is  always about the revenue..the world revolves around money

      • hrs

         Michael.  O week is fun.  Why shouldn’t a uni support it.  No fun allowed?

  • Blokeintakapuna

    So Labour not only want to tell you what light bulbs to use, how much water you can use in your shower – now they’re gonna effectively add close to 25% cost increase to everyone’s beer because a few can’t handle their drinking properly.

    There’s some good amo to through back at them close to election time…

    • Ford

      some people cant hand;le firearms properly and that adversely affect all responsible users
      excuses to raise the cost and make some more revenue

  • gazzaw

    $64 for a 3litre cask of chateau cardboard. That would go down really well in labour heartland. Even more effective than jim’s port & sherry cure all.

    • Morgy

      This has GST off fresh food written all over it…..a policy with so many if, buts and exceptions right through it.

      Can someone please explain what modern Labour of  really stand for?

    • Roger

      Yep, that will work, not. More foot in mouth thinking from Labour. If the cops could issue tickets for “drunk and disorderly” and “drinking in a public place” much of the public issues would disappear.

  • Johnny T

    Typical Labour Nanny State bullshit. I’m having a beer as I type this, and the 15 pack cost me $20. Make that $30 and I ain’t gonna be happy about it. Fucking wowsers and that Geoffrey Palmer has a lot to answer for.

  • le sphincter

    Just because an Mp talks about it doesnt make it policy!
    Key talked about league tables ,but the Education Minister  has knocked it back previously.These things happen all the time

    • BR

      Yes, but why are they even thinking it?


  • gazzaw

    Sphincter, we need your input on this. Preferably not with the usual red herring of blaming the Nats for something totally unrelated to the subject. In English too please. 

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Yep, these are the genie-arses who want to run the country.

  • Lofty

    Is that $2 regardless of alcohol content by volume???

    • wiltinpenis

      From what I understand – $2 per “standard drink “. The actual volume would differ depending on alcohol content. Hic…

  • tarkwin

    When you have no credible policy whatsoever come up with something patently stupid and push it hard. That appears to be the mantra of modern Labour. I have trouble believing they could be so stupid.

  • Mr_Blobby

    It is funny how everyone blames the local liquor store when in reality the problem is really with the, to big to touch, Supermarkets.
    We all know that the Aussie giants are ripping off the NZ consumer. They must be happy at how there only competition, the small local stores are copping all the bad publicity.
    An obliging Government and local bodies are busy taking care of there competition for them.
    As for minimum prices. Surely this would affect the poor and underprivileged (underclass) the most. Still given most of them are supposedly living below the poverty line, you have to wonder how they can afford to buy alcohol at any price in the first place. How about maximum prices for fruit and vegetables.

    • Bunswalla

      Mr B, with particular regard to the price of wine, in what way are the Aussie giants ripping off the NZ consumer? I think it’s the complete opposite – there seems to be a sale on at Countodown or Woolworths every other week and providing you’re happy to stay with the same brands (predominantly kiwi ones) you can get spectacularly good value for very good wines. When was the last time you tried to buy wine in Australia? For starters you can’t buy it at a supermarket. Many have a BWS store nearby but it’s still a second visit, and the prices you pay for very average wine are ridiculous. If I wait a couple of weeks I can get Saints at $8.99 a bottle, over there it’s never less than $16.99 – and that’s in AUD!

      Local wines in Aussie are no cheaper, so it’s not the cost of transport, it’s the Aussie consumers being ripped off.

      • Mr_Blobby

        Take your point Bunswalla I was speaking generally where you can by milk and butter cheaper overseas etc. Having been in retail, the NZ consumer is ripped off by all manner of big international corporations.
        In the case of wine however. It appears we are in a wine glut, if you are a vineyard and don’t have a contract with a winery you may as well dig your vines into the ground. The end result is some very good wines on special, in the $12 range.

  • Ford

    minimum prices and minimal prices are 2 different things..minimal being keep it as low as possible and minimum could be any price thats decided

    • Bunswalla

      Thanks so much for clearing that up. What’s your point?

  • Paddles83

    Me thinks 
    Dalziel was pissed again when she made the statements

    • gazzaw

      Jacinda obviously thought so yesterday morning on TV. Her facial expressions & waffled responses clearly reflected that she knew nothing about Dalziel’s statements.

      • TravisPoulson

        Heh, the look of ‘fuck he got me with that one, must keep a straight face, try not to go red in the face and slowly remove my foot and hope nobody notices.’

  • Greg M

    Why not just fine people heavily for being pissed in a public place?
    $1000 fine, 28 days to pay or it starts getting deducted from your wages.
    That would sort out Queen St for a start.

    • Blokeintakapuna

      Yep – great idea Mr.M.

      Make people responsible for their own actions. I know this is antithesis to the left – actually having people take responsibility for their own actions – but coupled with real consequences of their actions (and no wet bus ticket slaps across the wrists either!) it would help those that don’t/can’t/won’t think for themselves actually accept responsibility for their actions.

      Unlike television, Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself. 

      Mind you – it still doesn’t actually stop people WANTING to get hammered…

    • gazzaw

      Go one better Greg. Make it an instant fine of $500 and you go into the cells until you pay. Amex, Visa happily accepted. If it has to be borrowed from mates, parents then sobeit but you don’t get out until its paid or a minimum period served. Second offence $3000 and same no-release policy. The word would soon spread that getting pissed in public has real consequences.

      • Ford

        whats it like being perfect ya fucken tosspot….your good

      • gazzaw

        Oh that’s right Ford, you’re not a rich prick and you’ve got no mates to borrow off so you would never get out. That thought entertaining enough for ya (sic)?

      • Ford

        im on the dole remember..i dont drink or smoke so got plenty of your tax $$$ for other stuff..keep up the good work tosser..*thumbs up*

    • hrs

      What is the definition of “being pissed in a public place”? In a coma;
      fall down drunk; loud and abusive drunk; in a very happy mood; tipsy? I
      think the better idea is to target people who are drunk and
      disorderly.  Nothing wrong with having a few or few more and getting happy!

  • Labour the party of Chardonnay Swilling plutocrats with their MGS, farmlets and cronies. They would not recognise a worker if they fell over one. Bunch of tossers.

  • hrs

    Sitting at home drinking my woodstock right now after a good week at work and looking forward to the rugby. I am sure people all over the country are doing the same (be it woodstock, lion red, speights or even ranfurly).  Why would anyone want to make such an experience more expensive because there are some idiots out there who can’t control themselves when drinking.  Shovel can shove it.  Labour will lose votes because of it.  Keep it up shovel.

    • Pukakidon

       Exactly right hrs, it is the quality of life we enjoy as adults and is our birthright to sit back and relax having a drink.   If the young idiots can not hold their liquor then punish them, not the rest of the country.

      • patriot

        Agree Pukakidon ,

        It is a nonsense  that Labour Party wants to penalise all of us — for those that are ” Drunk and Disorderly ”  in , say , Queen Street  .

        Labour will never get my Vote doing that  —  Police should deal to the drunk/disorderly in a public place  — not raise the prices on me at home having a Merlot with my wife watching the Net ball on TV

      • TravisPoulson

        patriot: I think it’s great they have this policy, I hope they keep pushing it. It will help keep them out of government, all the better for all of us. 

        • patriot

          The stupidity of Labour Party to try to win voters – by giving us a SOLUTION that puts the wine price up on millions of mum and dad having a Merlot at home , visiting friends, or watching TV  — when the PROBLEM  is the Drunk & Disorderly young IDIOTS in Queen Street .    The Police should  Hammer those young drunk , violent pricks — but leave us to buy our wine at market prices.

          As you say Travis — Labour should keep coming out with Vote Losing ideas to keep them & Greens out of Govt .

          Labour should have a minimum wine price at Bellamys of $10 per glass of wine — and a minimum air fare price for Labour , of 100% for non Govt travel . — Plus a maximum of 100 MPs as per the Referendum — so NZ can save money .

          I will be buying the minimum Mighty River shares and not selling , as Govt has a controlling 51% stake — Power shares , is NOT an asset sale — its a minority share float of an asset .   Labour should get that right too .

          Labour are Idiots  

      • TravisPoulson

        Couldn’t put it better myself patriot. I put it right beside the anti smacking law. 

  • Napalm in the Morning

    Close pubs at midnight, stops them loading up at home and going out after 11pm already fucked up. They go out earlier at midnight some will go to parties but more would go home. Its bullshit , that we have to have late morning closing. Tourist dont care the tourists that do are the ones that are young and cause problems(look at QT). Its simple to fix,

    • Greg M

       Yup. I watched six young people on Wednesday night “Pre-loading” in the square next to my apartment. They sculled RTD’s until three of them threw up, then they got up and went to the nightclub. A few points:
      1: Auckland CBD is a liquor ban area, where are the police?
      2: Vomiting in the street is my definition of ” being pissed in a public place”
      3: when they get to the club, why are they still getting served?
      4: why should I have to pay more for my piss because of these fuckwits?
      5: Yes I am having one now, Mt Difficulty sav blanc and it’s bloody good.

      Cheers, G.

  • Bunswalla

    The answer isn’t more rules and bigger penalties – if anything that will only increase the attraction for young people. Prohibition has never worked and it won’t work now. We need to grow up as a country and educate our young people about the right way to use alcohol. Compare the binge-drinking so prevalent in NZ, Australia and the UK with attitudes to alcohol in Europe. Kids there are brought up with wine being drunk at dinner and in social situations from an early age and alcohol has no mystery or allure to them.

    Sadly NZ is still an immature society with immature attitudes to alcohol. As they say, it’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking.

  • Greg M

    Buns, I agree, and disagree. For example, if I want to go to Mr Patel’s bottle shop 50m up the road, now, to get another bottle of wine I should be able to.
     What I object to is the dickheads that buy a 12 pack of RTD’s, scull them down to get as pissed as possible as fast as possible,then vomit/pee/poo on my doorstep then throw the bottle at my building, while yelling obnoxious bullshit at the top of their lungs.
    Education clearly hasn’t worked with people like this and I don’t think it ever will. Hit them in the pocket, money talks.
    As an inner city resident / business owner I can assure you we all have had a gutsful of it.