It occurs to The Salvation Army that the efforts, resources and time invested towards a smoke-free New Zealand have been quite significant. We as a nation have been essentially quite aggressive in the campaign to become smoke-free. We see this as a positive thing. We vigorously applaud this concerted effort to make New Zealand smoke-free. But we continue to wonder why similar aggressive efforts towards effective and serious alcohol reform have not truly happened in our nation.
We acknowledge that the Government is in the midst of a significant alcohol reform process. We also acknowledge the work of the Ministry of Health, Alcohol Healthwatch and other groups working in this space. The hugely devastating effect of alcohol abuse and our national drinking culture is well documented. Alcohol abuse continues to destroy and fracture our whanau and communities every day.
Therefore, it continues to baffle us why the Law Commissions recommendations on alcohol reform from 2010 remain largely ignored by our policy and decision makers. We again affirm that the Government’s recently released reforms are not strong and comprehensive enough to effectively address the lives of thousands of people damaged by alcohol abuse.