Not when but how

Fears that opening bars to allow people to watch rugby World Cup games would lead to major problems have not been realised:

Allowing bars to open during Rugby World Cup games didn’t turn the country into the drunken shambles that had been predicted, say the backers of the law change that made it possible.

Police communication centres today said the local aftermath of the All Blacks win over Australia in the Rugby World Cup final in London was quiet.

A law change was made two months ago to allow bars to open early during the tournament, rather than having to apply for special licences. Under the changes, hoteliers had to give police seven days’ notice they would be open.

The change was enabled by a bill from ACT’s sole MP David Seymour, who watched the final at a bar in Auckland’s Mt Eden.

He was happy there had been no major problems and it showed New Zealanders were actually responsible people.

“The picture that was painted when the bill was debated was that New Zealanders are infantile and if there’s not a law made to prevent it happening there would just be drunk people pouring out into the street and harassing children,” he said. . . 

While longer opening hours of bars and other licensed premises provides a greater opportunity for drinking, it’s not when people drink but how and how much that is the problem.

There is a problem with immature and unhealthy attitudes to alcohol which lead people to drink too much, but that is not a problem for most of us.

Legislation should be aimed at anti-social and abusive behaviour and allow the majority who drink without causing themselves or anyone else problems to do so when they want to.

43 Responses to Not when but how

  1. Mr E says:

    Agree Ele,

    We need political responses that deal to bad drinking cultures, and behaviours.

    Speaking frankly I don’t like the new lowered drink driving threshold that has been created. Here is why.

    Statistically speaking over 10 years – 1100 people die in accidents associated with drink driving each year. That is 220 in two years.
    In a study they found that 5 driving fatalities contained people with in the new lower threshold ( 51-80mg per 100ml of blood) over 2 years.

    So the new lower threshold targets 2% of the driving fatilitiy problem. And evidence is showing the cost is significant.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/73439720/southland-customers-choosing-to-eat-and-drink-at-home–businesses

    I am not sure the Government is looking in the right areas to find the best solutions. A rethink is needed.

  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree that family friendly environments supports a more responsible drinking environment. I would hazard a bet that most people went to the bars to watch the matches because of the social benefits rather than wanting access to alcohol. Community building that doesn’t rely on alcohol needs to be encouraged.

    I also think that an improved public transport system would allow people to socialise without the concern of driving over whatever the limit is.

    The solutions to our substantial alcohol fueled problems (costing the country over $5 billion a year) have already been identified but the Government refuses to apply them because of lobbying from the industry.

    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/10/nz-alcohol-industry-triumphs-again.html

  3. Will says:

    I did it. I went over to see what solutions are on offer. Drum roll…

    More (much more!) taxes, regulations, and restrictions. Never would have guessed.

  4. jabba01 says:

    another epic fail by the Greeens

  5. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, I would be interested in what you think will be more successful in minimising the $5 billion of alcohol related costs to our health, welfare and justice systems other than what was listed by the law commission. Market forces do not have a strong track record in having a social conscience. The Government rejected many of the regulatory controls that were recommended and I haven’t noticed the resulting legislation making much of a difference, alcohol fueled family violence is on the increase and hospitals are still dealing with the results of our binge culture.

    I notice you are quick to criticise other’s solutions but offer none of your own. Or are you comfortable with the status quo?

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    Jabba, do you mean the Law Commission? I was quoting them 😉

  7. J Bloggs says:

    I went out with an acquaintance to try and find an open bar to watch the 2nd half of the semi final. I can assure you that at 5 am the only drink I was interested in was coffee.

  8. Dave Kennedy says:

    J Bloggs, I’m sure that most had the same thought as you and if anyone had stayed up all night a coffee would be the logical beverage at that point 😉

  9. Will says:

    You worry too much Dave. Have a drink, relax.

  10. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, you don’t know me, I’m always pretty relaxed and I’ve enjoyed a couple of red wines tonight. However, I did not notice you avoided answering my questions. Your ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to alcohol has killed a lot of people I grew up with and I am lucky to have survived a period of my life because of it too. It is actually a serious issue that shouldn’t be treated so lightly.

  11. Mr E says:

    “Your ‘she’ll be right’ attitude to alcohol has killed a lot of people I grew up with”

    Oh Lordy.

    Yes Dave, it is Will’s attitude that killed those you grew up with.

    Yes Dave.

    *sigh*

  12. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oh dear, I have my very own stalking troll 😉

    Including the last thread where we last engaged this make number seven petty comments. I wonder what will happen when you get to number ten?

    Are you really serious about the first comment in this thread when you imply that lowering the threshold and reducing our alcohol consumption is economically damaging? That the five people who died while within the new limit is an acceptable price to pay for increased pub profits? What bizarre reasoning, you didn’t even think about the number of people that may have been saved and didn’t become a statistic (possibly hundreds) because of the lowered threshold.

    Is this a common ‘National’ view, that the survival of the industry is more important than the social and health costs?

    If you didn’t read the facts contained in my earlier link, then here they are again:
    -Alcohol related harm has been estimated to cost the country over $5.3 billion a year or $14.5 million every day.
    -We have seen an almost 10% increase in alcohol consumption over the last ten years.
    -25% of adult drinkers are binge drinkers.
    -Half of drinkers under 25 years of age drink large quantities when they drink.
    -61% of adolescent students drink and 34% binge drink.
    -Every year around 1000 people die from alcohol related causes.
    -New Zealand has a high rate of drowning compared to other countries and 40% of our drownings are alcohol related.
    -44% of fire fatalities are related to alcohol.
    -We have one of the worst levels of youth suicide in the world and 30% of these are attributed to alcohol.
    -Between 20 and 30% of all injuries are due to alcohol consumption.
    22% of ACC claims have alcohol has a contributing factor with these claims costing around $650 million each year.
    -Between 2002 and 2006 there were 5,413 young people hospitalized because of alcohol.
    -For every 100 alcohol or drug impaired drivers killed in motor accidents 54 of their passengers died and 42 sober road users.
    -The 18-29 year age group has the highest rates of alcohol related mortality.
    -A recent survey found that 16.6% of 18-24 year olds had been physically assaulted by someone who had been drinking in the previous 12 months and 12% had been sexually harassed.
    -In 2008 there had been 20,000 violent offenses caused by offenders under the influence of alcohol.
    -A study of university students on sexual behaviour found that 25% had been involved in risky sexual behaviour because of alcohol, 15% of males and 11% of females reported having unprotected sex and 19% of males and 16% of females reported having sex that they later regretted.
    -40% of births are unplanned, our teenage pregnancy rate is one of the worst in the OECD and there is a growing binge drinking culture amongst our teenage girls. It has been estimated that this culture is now causing around 3,000 children with foetal alcohol syndrome being born each year in NZ.

    “Have a drink, relax”

    Double sigh!

  13. Paranormal says:

    Your answer DK to all those arguable statistics is more tax, stronger regulation and prohibition. When that heavy handed government intervention inevitably fails to work, will you want to impose more of the same? And you still wonder why the Greens are ridiculed.

    What we have is a cultural problem around drinking. Cultural problems are not solved around heavy handed regulation, but by changing the culture. SADD & MADD are good examples that changed the culture without all the costly bureaucracy you authoritarians prefer.

  14. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I continue you question your comments and you continue to call names. Then you call my comments petty. I think a long look in the mirror is needed.

    And if you think I stalk you – you are flattering yourself. I call out many people who I think make stupid remarks. It just so happens I think you make many of them.

    “That the five people who died while within the new limit is an acceptable price to pay for increased pub profits?”

    Dave – do you think those 5 people have been saved by this law change?

    What has happened all around the country is elaborate man caves have been developed. People have moved their behaviours to different venues. Venues that don’t have the responsible eyes of a law abiding publican watching, guiding, controlling.

    Evidence suggests that less people are travelling large distances after 3-4 drinks. However I think it is well possible some are travelling short distances after a lot more than 3-4 drinks. And whilst I can’t provide hard evidence to back that up, I have seen and heard stories that support that behaviour shift.

    Going forward, I expect the numbers of drink drivers caught to decline. But I certainly don’t expect the number of accidents or deaths involving alcohol to decline. My expectation is the 5 out of 220 (2%) will decline. But the total number could well increase.

    In the mean time pubs, restaurants, and social occasions will decline. Venues that had an important role – and massive opportunities to educate responsible decisions are in decline.

    An analogy might be swapping schools for unregulated home schooling and expecting the population to benefit from it.

  15. Dave Kennedy says:

    Paranormal, I was promoting the Law Commission’s solutions if you actually bothered to read the link. By mentioning prohibition you clearly haven’t read or understood what was being suggested. SADD has existed for 30 years and has only had a minor impact on our drinking culture so that is clearly not the full answer.
    http://www.sadd.org.nz/#!about_us/cjg9

    Here is a summary of the Law Commission’s recommendations and you will see what was not adopted:
    -Raising the price of alcohol by an average of 10% through excise tax increases.
    -Regulating irresponsible promotions that encourage the excessive consumption, or purchase, of alcohol.
    -Returning the minimum purchase age to 20.
    -Strenthening the rights and responsibilities of parents for the supply of alcohol to minors.
    -Introducing maximum closing hours for both on and off-licences: (4am and 10pm respectively).
    -Increasing the ability of local people to influence how and where alcohol is sold in their communities.
    -Regulate alcohol advertising and sponsorship.
    -Increasing personal responsibility for unacceptable or harmful behaviors induced by alcohol, including a civil cost recovery regime for those picked up by the police when grossly intoxicated.

    Some regulatory controls are what is necessary to control inappropriate advertising and accessibility to minors etc. That is what has been successfully used for achieving safe roads, gun controls and the safe use of prescription medicines. Why should a recreational drug be allowed privileged treatment when it causes so much harm in society? Any bureaucracy involved in managing the control of alcohol sales would be paid for many times over through the billions saved in our health, welfare and justice systems. You honestly don’t believe we should relax what we spend on bio-security, why should alcohol be treated differently?

    I find it interesting that you have such strong views about the Greens that are generally not based on facts but your own ill-informed prejudices. That you are comfortable with the status quo and therefore the accompanying statistics means that protecting the profits of the industry means more that the health of the people.

    I see the same attitude with processed, high sugar food. When the responsibility for healthy eating is loaded on to our education system yet the regulation for healthy food is schools was removed. This allowed vending machines for soft drinks etc to move in again and destroy any credibility in what was being taught. Teachers used to operate as loco parentis but now commercial interests trump commonsense. Teachers teach what food is best and then the opposite is provided.

    I know the party that should be ridiculed by you and it isn’t the Greens.

  16. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, what a pleasant surprise, an attempt at a real discussion of the issues 😉 I am happy to remove the troll label temporarily (as I doubt it will last).

    “What has happened all around the country is elaborate man caves have been developed. People have moved their behaviours to different venues. Venues that don’t have the responsible eyes of a law abiding publican watching, guiding, controlling.”

    Mr E, the change in drinking culture and use of private venues is not because of restrictive alcohol laws as you imply but a lack of recognition by the industry of what people want. Rather than large commercial concerns concentrating on raking in lots of money people are wanting smaller more intimate venues that reflect their own community culture.

    Those man caves you describe are often wonderful inventions that reflect the local pub culture that once existed in the UK. I actually agree with Paranormal on one point, it is society as a whole that needs to have a culture change (although our methods in achieving this are different) and current pubs are hardly the place for education when their main focus is profiting from alcohol, that is a naive view. They generally do what they are legally required to do, little more.

    My kids even tell me that they often prefer a few drinks at one of their friend’s flat than go out to a large venue because they enjoy the conversation and social interaction in a more intimate environment.

    “In the mean time pubs, restaurants, and social occasions will decline. Venues that had an important role – and massive opportunities to educate responsible decisions are in decline.”

    I can’t believe you said this with a straight face when these old venues (mainly pubs) were the very institutions that helped create our problems. The increase in interesting cafes and man caves may actually be part of the solution as it is shifting the need to have vast amounts of alcohol at any social venue. Good riddance to the booze barns I say.

    Your school analogy displays some ignorance as I have no problem with homeschooling for those who chose it and there are regulations around it too, just as I am a great supporter of the man cave concept. http://parents.education.govt.nz/primary-school/schooling-in-nz/homeschooling/

    I could imagine that you could use your old cars as the centre of interest for a man cave of your own Mr E and you would probably gather around a group of people with similar interests to yourself. You could yarn about cars and share your views about the Greens and myself to a receptive audience. I would also think that you would be a more responsible host that any young barman employed by a brewery.

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?hl=en&authuser=0&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1260&bih=940&q=NZ+man+cave&oq=NZ+man+cave&gs_l=img.12..0j0i8i30l2.3416.6920.0.11756.11.11.0.0.0.0.231.2008.2-9.9.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..2.9.2007.mGUMPP5kaqU

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    I should add that many small rural communities are losing their pubs but are replacing them with interesting cafes that are far more family friendly. I think that is a positive cultural shift, don’t you?

  18. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “Mr E, the change in drinking culture and use of private venues is not because of restrictive alcohol laws as you imply”

    Yes it is. I have had 1st hand comments such as – ‘it was pointless to go to the pub for one pint, so we bought a $500 caravan, and now the lads get really smashed for less’.

    If you think I am joking, I am not. I have heard of at least 5 examples. If you don’t know about this – you need to get out more, or think about how you communicate with voters.

    “current pubs are hardly the place for education when their main focus is profiting from alcohol,”

    I don’t think so. Education is the key – pubs provide a perfect opportunity with target audiences in one place. As an ex educator, you should know the most important part of education is engaging the audience. Pubs have a captive audience.

    And whilst pubs have not achieved as much as they can, I think it is fair to say many are willing to improve the situation. You first need to educate the venue operators. The potential is huge.

    “homeschooling for those who chose it and there are regulations around it too”

    Umm – you ignored where I said – Unregulated home schooling…. Comprehension Dave.

    I have a man cave Dave. It is far too nice to be used as a “booze barn”. Binge drinking is not an interest of mine. And the missus would kick my butt if I reduced my shed to a pub.

    I have used my shed as a get together venue. But not purely as a social gathering space. My house is nicer and I like to integrate the males and females in social opportunities rather than segregate.

    Informal shed visits generally result in a participants being put to work with a spanner or cresent.

    I doubt I would have friends it I talked about the Greens at social occasions.

  19. Mr E says:

    Cafes are good.

    But they are not swapping one for the other. The pub culture has moved into sheds. Some people are “rolling home”

  20. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I have heard of at least 5 examples.”

    Mr E, I love your research 😉

    I think those “lads” you mention obviously have a problem if “get smashed for less” is their goal. It isn’t any regulations that shifted them to a caravan, but the price of drinks in the pub.

    In my day the cheaper beer had less alcohol content too. It took a few jugs of the old Speights and DB to get drunk and many trips to the loo. Now they have RTDs that are virtually soft drinks with much more alcohol in them to hook the kids in. Dangerous stuff for inexperienced drinkers.

    “Unregulated home schooling…. Comprehension Dave.”
    Good point but unregulated drinking at home happens already anyway.

    Your description of your home actually supports my thinking, if young people experienced drinking at your place they would learn more about appropriate drinking than in any pub. I was a student and I know what my kids experienced and are experiencing as students, the pubs would never use their captive audience to preach responsible drinking.

    Could I suggest you open your man cave to some some of those lads to mentor them about being a responsible drinker and share your love of things mechanical. What the younger generation lack is good examples from the previous ones and shifting that responsibility to the industry just isn’t logical.

  21. Mr E says:

    No Dave,

    Apparently the smashed for less is considered as a bonus. What pushed them was reduced limits.

    “Good point but unregulated drinking at home happens already anyway.”

    Now we have unofficial unregulated pubs, hidden from the public eye, rapidly growing in number.

    “the pubs would never use their captive audience to preach responsible drinking.”

    Of course they would. Of course they do. You can’t sit in any pub without reading numerous posters about responsible drinking. Think about the change in culture that has already occurred. Back in the day publicans would help stumbling partons to cars. Now days they stop access to drinking, call family members or cabs, and have been known to take keys away. It has been a quantum shift.

    The opportunity as I see it is using liquor licenses as a tool to drive education of venue mangers/owners.

    I imagine licence fees facilitating visitations to business that have managed to alter drinking culture, whilst maintaining profits. I am sure many such venues exist. I am sure the learning would be immense. I am sure learning would be imposed on patrons.

  22. Will says:

    Dave I grew up in a family with a long history of destructive addiction. The problem is not alcohol or nicotine or gambling, heroin, cocaine, meth, porn, online gaming or the rest of it. The problem is addiction.

    What we need is research into the causes of this disorder, and better ways of managing it. Your endless taxes are a joke, the only people they have no effect on are the addicts. Worse than useless.

    I did not avoid your question, I just don’t spend all my time arguing on the internet. Might become a bad habit.

  23. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you said yourself that it was cost that shifted them to the caravan. The drinking and driving issue is not relevant for those whose intention to go well beyond that limit. It is the cost of drinking and the price of a taxi that probably influenced them most (and they are probably on low incomes too).

    The shift to drinking at home is also likely to be because the industry is not receptive to their potential customers. Most are focussed on squashing in as many young people as possible and the more mature of us (who actually have more money) have fewer choices of places that suit us. I used to enjoy the jazz nights at the Grand Hotel where one could sit in comfortable armchairs in elegant surroundings and have a pleasant conversation with a jazz background. Rather than the big venues, smaller ones that meet a range of niche markets would make sense.

    Why fight for the continued dominance of the old pubs of the past we should be embracing more sophisticated and mature social venues.

    When I was at High School the old RSA and other dances existed for young people and were very popular. They were stopped because of the hassle of managing alcohol. In my mind it was a cop out from the community in not wanting to teach and manage this issue with our young at an important age. Young people really want the opportunity to listen and dance to bands and need to be taught about the responsible use of alcohol, we should have the courage to face up to our responsibilities.

    I remember organising a young farmers skiing trip and we were given the use of a crib in Queenstown by a local family. Many of the young guys on the trip had the idea that alcohol was a vital part of the weekend and although we were supposed to start skiing early on the Sunday they decided to drink heavily until 1am and one tried to drunkenly spin his ute around the front lawn of the crib. I wasn’t much older than these young guys but I had to confiscate their car keys and stood over them as they climbed into their sleeping bags. We had a great day’s skiing the following day and they all thought it was one of their best weekend trips. They bore me no grudges about moderating their behaviour and were suitably embarrassed that they had let themselves down and made a brilliant job of cleaning the crib and tidying the damage to the lawn before we left.

    We should be all taking responsibility for teaching our young responsible drinking, Mr E, fobbing that off to pubs is a cop out and I still believe you should invite those lads to your place as I’m sure you could tach them more than a young barman or bargirl.

    Some Rugby clubs do this really well too. Their young players have to look smart off field (often wearing suits) and they are taught the importance of representing their club well and moderating their use of alcohol.

  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, it is a real pity that you ignore what I actually say and focus on one small element (tax) that I haven’t actually promoted, it is one small part of the Law Commission’s list of recommendations. We already have the research, that is what the recommendations are based on.

    Addiction is only one issue, the culture of binge drinking is another. The issue around RTDs and the industry’s advertising and drinks focussing on susceptible youth also has an impact.

    I am sure all families have members who have an alcohol problem, hence the need to do stuff that will actually work. We all need to step up and do our bit too.

  25. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “you said yourself that it was cost that shifted them to the caravan”

    You are not listening. You are trying to put your spin on my experiences. That is wrong

    The driving force – the reasons why changes occurred – is the lowering of the driving limit. Those who I have spoken to have explained, cheaper is a bonus.

    “Why fight for the continued dominance of the old pubs of the past we should be embracing more sophisticated and mature social venues.”

    I am not fighting for one or the other. I am suggesting both have a place and both are struggling under the new rules, rules that won’t make improvements, rules that reduce great education opportunities. Rules that I think will make the situation worse.

    Two examples in the link I provided are hardly the ‘booze bars’ you are describing.

    “I remember organising a young farmers skiing trip”
    “but I had to confiscate their car keys and stood over them as they climbed into their sleeping bags.”

    As I said, many publicans ensure responsibility of patrons. Patrons that are now leaving in droves for ‘private pubs’.

    “We should be all taking responsibility for teaching our young responsible drinking, Mr E, fobbing that off to pubs is a cop out”

    Dave, Dave, Dave. I’m not fobbing it off to the pubs. I have always played my part. But I am also no expert in dealing with our drinking culture. I am saying we should make our bar owners/managers into those experts. Help them to create venues, activities and ultimately cultures that are better. I’m sure there is much science around our drinking culture and how it can change. What have we done to create experts within the culture?

    “I’m sure you could tach them more than a young barman or bargirl.”

    Not if they were highly educated in the the techniques to deal with our drinking culture. Not by a mile.

    “Some Rugby clubs do this really well too”.

    In my experience clothing does not change drinking attitudes. I think sometimes a uniform does increase the risk of physical assault.

  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, it appears that we both recognise the responsibility that everyone has to shift a damaging culture and that the problem needs multiple solutions.

    Your initial argument was that lowering the alcohol limit for driving was the cause of heavy drinkers shifting away from licensed establishments but your explanations do not support that. If there intention is to “get smashed” then a lower alcohol level isn’t going to have any impact when the previous one would be too low still. What you are saying isn’t logical.

    There are now lots of liquor outlets in less affluent communities where cheap alcohol can be bought locally and consumed at home. That is clearly more of a problem than the change in the driving limit.

    I don’t disagree with training young people who work behind the bars to be more responsible hosts but that is only one small part of what needs to be done and we can’t always rely on the industry to do it well when their profits are at stake. Just look at Sky City and their claims of being a responsible host, they are exposed almost every year without fail:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/249352/casino-'neglected'-host-responsibility

  27. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “Your initial argument was that lowering the alcohol limit for driving was the cause of heavy drinkers shifting away from licensed establishments but your explanations do not support that. ”

    You miss understand. Moderate to low drinkers (3-4 drinks) are moving to ‘private pubs’. They are not interested in 1 pint then twiddling thumbs for hours. In a ‘private pub’ there are few social checks, no law abiding publican, shorter travel to get home, and cheaper drinks, therefore some are drinking more. A lot more.

    I think it is likely that some are risking a shorter drive home after a higher consumption, when historically they would have driven home on 3-4 drinks.

    Do you now understand my point?

  28. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I am not misunderstanding you. You laid responsibility of this phenomena to:
    “the new lower threshold targets 2% of the driving fatality problem. And evidence is showing the cost is significant.”

    In doing so you ignored all the other reasons why people are drinking at home and I also believe that many of those “Man caves” are better than many actual pubs.

    -Young people preload with cheap RTDs before heading out to pubs to save money. Student pubs have closed in Dunedin because of this fact.
    -Pubs don’t provide the variety of venues that many moderate to low drinkers or more mature people would like.
    -The problem drinkers have always consumed at home (we have heavy drinking neighbours that are my age and they spend Summer drinking out the back and you can hear the constant clunk as the empties are dropped into the recycle bin.
    -Restaurants and cafes have grown in numbers and many people prefer to eat and drink when socialising now.

    “I think it is likely that some are risking a shorter drive home after a higher consumption, when historically they would have driven home on 3-4 drinks.”

    Pure supposition, the more little private bars there are, the more likely they will be within walking distance like the English corner pub. I know heaps of situations where a sober driver is used (wife or girlfriend etc) to drive people home anyway, no matter what the venue is. I find it interesting that you want to discourage people from drinking at home; believe that raising the allowable level of alcohol for driving will encourage people to use pubs; and that pubs are the best places for teaching responsible drinking.

    Your celebration of the law abiding publican may apply to a rural pub but try exploring the crowded bars in a city and the busy bar staff and see how far host responsibility can practically go 😉

    If you want to change the drinking culture it would be much more effective if you invited those young lads that you know around to your place one time 😉

  29. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I am not talking about drinking at home. Therefore your points are invalid.

    When I said “lads” I was not suggesting they are young or poor. You are assuming way way too much and therefore concluding incorrectly.

    “-Restaurants and cafes have grown in numbers and many people prefer to eat and drink when socialising now.”

    Yet my link suggests they are struggling. And I have heard others complaining too.

  30. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, You need to read your own article again 😉 The big Licensing Trust establishments are struggling but there were multiple reasons given, most especially the price of alcohol in Supermarkets etc. Your suggestion that it was all down to the lower drink driving threshold was a misrepresentation and even in the article was a supposition only.

    “What has happened all around the country is elaborate man caves have been developed.”

    You clearly cited this as a problem and this refers to people setting up bars at their homes. If you think that these are worse than pubs then you will need to have evidence. I am aware of many and they seem like a really good idea and, in my experience, care for guests is at a higher level than most pubs. Mates tend to look after each other. You seem to be suggesting that many mature low to moderate drinkers in man caves become irresponsible if not under the watchful eye of the barmen/maids on duty.

    “Venues that don’t have the responsible eyes of a law abiding publican watching, guiding, controlling.”

    I’m sorry Mr E, your argument comes from an old fashioned view of pubs that doesn’t reflect the reality. How many paternal “publicans” are there out there in in pubs and bars. Most have young staff overseen by a duty manager (who isn’t generally much older) and a bouncer or two to manage the worst of drunken behaviour.

    The worst situations at private homes are the uncontrolled youth parties.

    “When I said “lads” I was not suggesting they are young or poor. You are assuming way way too much and therefore concluding incorrectly.”

    They sound like my neighbours then. It’s really sad that drinking for them is “getting smashed in a caravan” when they are mature and financially well off. They certainly wouldn’t want to go to a pub that you describe where they can’t drink to excess. You do know some interesting people.

  31. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    You are twisting the argument to suit your agenda. I am not sure why.

    I never suggested ” it was all down to the lower drink driving threshold”

    “Customers appear to have shifted towards drinking free water so they can drive sober, or ordering a cup of coffee and making themselves at home for up to four hours. The lower breath-alcohol limit introduced in December last year also means more people are opting to drink at home, leaving businesses to compete with supermarkets for customers.”

    My suggestion is that they are also drinking in private pubs. Because I have seen them pop up.

    You suggest that “Mates tend to look after each other” and many do, but clearly binge drinking also leads to situations where mates don’t look after each other, in a responsible manner. It is an unavoidable truth.

    “If you think that these are worse than pubs then you will need to have evidence”

    There is plenty of evidence to show the growth of private pubs.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/73439720/southland-customers-choosing-to-eat-and-drink-at-home%E2%80%93businesseswww.stuff.co.nz/life-style/nz-life-leisure/72363437/Man-caves-popular-alternative-to-night-out

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=man+cave+nz&safe=strict&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=606&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CD4QsARqFQoTCPyFnceF-sgCFYeQpgod0AUDfw

    As for evidence of a greater culture of binge drinking – the law only changed 12 months ago. It is too early for us to see any stats on it.
    But use your logic.

    I’m sorry Mr E, your argument comes from an old fashioned view of pubs that doesn’t reflect the reality

    You are wrong Dave, There are plenty of bar owners and managers that are very responsible. Young and old.
    I suspect you are talking about night clubs. And I am not interesting in night clubs. I am talking about pubs and typical drinking venues.
    I realise that one of the bars in the article could be considered as both and bar and a nightclub.

    The worst situations at private homes are the uncontrolled youth parties.

    I think you are right there. Then again that is another matter.

    “They sound like my neighbours then. It’s really sad that drinking for them is “getting smashed in a caravan” when they are mature and financially well off. They certainly wouldn’t want to go to a pub that you describe where they can’t drink to excess. You do know some interesting people.”

    It sounds like you have all the evidence you need to corroborate my belief right next door.

    I would suggest that your view of “interesting people” is probably “common people”.

    I think you need to get away from your computer more. Engage with people and try to understand them.

    Isolating yourself is not a wise thing to do for a politician.

  32. TraceyS says:

    “Isolating yourself is not a wise thing to do for a politician.”

    Neither is peeping through the fence at your neighbours.

    If you want some fun, Dave, just go out and have some. If you’re happy with your life then you won’t be peeved that your mature, well-off, neighbours are having a good time in their caravan without you.

  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I’m not actually sure what we are in disagreement about and whether it is important.

    We both agree that alcohol is a huge problem in this country and costs us billions in health care and is behind a good percentage of family violence and crime.

    Your original comment suggested that lowering the drink driving threshold was causing people to stay at home and we both seem to agree that cost and changing cultures are part of that too. Neither of us have data to confirm the problems with home based bars, but anecdotally I don’t see them as a major issue.

    What we both must accept is that any culture change needs to occur with our youth so that we can grow out of our bad habits through changing those of the next generations. If we look at the alcohol trends volumes are dropping but the alcohol content of what is being consumed is going up. I drank draft beer (3%) as a young chap and it took a reasonable level of consumption to get really drunk.
    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/alcohol_and_tobacco_availability/alcohol-avail-consumption-yeSep13.aspx?request_value=2&tabname=Beer

    The marketing of spirits and RTDs to young people has increased dramatically and the levels of inebriation have increased accordingly and made worse by longer opening hours. A&E departments can inform you about the numbers that go through their doors as a consequence. Restricting the opening hours in Sydney made a huge difference for policing and medical teams.

    If we are going to shift behaviour in our young (apparently they make rash decisions up to around 24), then perhaps we should take seriously our responsibilities as parents and community leaders and manage the problem appropriately. I don’t disagree with the expectations of host responsibility but the Law Commission’s recommendations were supported by a raft of research and all address responsible management of a dangerous recreational drug.

  34. Mr E says:

    Dave

    “We both agree that alcohol is a huge problem”

    Nope. Alcohol is not the problem. That is like saying trees are a problem because now and again they fall on people.

    People’s (some) attitudes to drinking are the problem.

    “Your original comment suggested that lowering the drink driving threshold was causing people to stay at home”

    Nope – Man caves, private pubs don’t have to be at home. Those that are at homes are attracting people outside the home.

    “Neither of us have data to confirm the problems”

    But I have experience to suggest it is a growing problem.So as a member of a political opposition party, isn’t a sensible suggestion doing some research of your own.

    This matter that I have raised is not one that supports the existing Govt. In fact it is actually a criticism of a law they have passed.

    I doubt you think I am thick or dishonest, so shouldn’t you trust that the possibility exists and look for more anecdotal evidence, encourage data recording of the concept, potentially culminating in a review of the law?

    Isn’t that what opposition members should do. Or is it more about forcing your own agenda and views on the people?

  35. Paranormal says:

    And lets add to that Mr E.

    DK’s suggestions around curing the ‘alcohol problem’ was more taxes and regulation. That’s never going to change the problem. Just because the existing taxes and regulations have failed to curb the ‘problem’ (maybe actually exacerbated the ‘problem) the solution obviously ™ is more taxes and regulations.

  36. Mr E says:

    Paranormal,

    It is funny that regulation and taxes are considered the mainstay tool of socialism. Growing high regulations and taxes tells the people “we don’t trust you to make the right decision in the face of good information”.

    That seems anti social to me. Anti-socialism sounds like a better description to me.

  37. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, If you read my post that i linked it would be clear that I have indeed done some research. I had read and even quoted the historical evidence of the influence of alcohol on NZ society, I had listed the data available on the social and economic costs, consumption levels, and demographic differences. I added to this my own experiences and anecdotal evidence.

    Your evidence is purely anecdotal and the way you talk about publicans shows a generational understanding that is quite different from the majority of the population’s experience with drinking. I would suggest that the greater % of engagement with alcohol does not occur in a traditional pub environment and your own links confirm that.

    I actually agree the taxes and regulation aren’t the only answer but they should be part of it, as it is with the management of any potentially dangerous substance.

    You and Paranormal seemed to be defending the idea that there should be few regulations and controls and the massive issues we have with the inappropriate use of alcohol can be managed without restrictions to the age of accessibility, the type of venue, host responsibilities, hours of availability, the level and kinds of advertising and the sort of drink mixes promoted and sold to young people under 24. (except you do want to restrict sheds, Mr E).

    This looks very much like the kind of hands off approach that has been so successful in managing the use of guns in the US. You are sounding similar to the gun lobbyists who don’t want restrictions on gun ownership. The idea that less regulation is the answer has clearly failed in this regard and it is clear that profit lines for booze barons is something that must be protected at all costs.

    It also appears that you guys assume that controlling the use and availability of alcohol is a politically driven concept rather than a responsible health and welfare one.

    Will’s response to family violence, over extended A&E departments and foetal alcohol syndrome is:

    “Have a drink, relax.”

    Mr E, reckons that restrictions on alcohol is “anti-social” but doesn’t like the social behaviour that happens in sheds 😉

    Paranormal supports no regulation and taxes and thinks that it is the responsibility of mother and student action groups to change the culture, government should back off.

    Tracey thinks that I am a wowser and should be sitting in a caravan getting “smashed with those who really know how to have fun.

    Thanks guys, I’ve got the picture of where you’re coming from and can clearly see why the alcohol problem (that isn’t a problem) has existed here for 150 years 😉

    From the Encyclopedia of NZ:

    “Alcohol is 21st-century New Zealand’s most widespread drug – about $85 million is spent on it each week, and the equivalent of 34 million litres of pure alcohol consumed each year.”

    “Many observers believed colonial New Zealand was sodden with alcohol. Locals like George Chamier claimed, ‘It was considered a mean thing to drink alone; it was considered meaner still not to drink at all.’2 Foreign travellers shared Anthony Trollope’s view that the colonial New Zealander was ‘very fond of getting drunk’.3 In the United Kingdom in the 1870s there were about seven convictions for drunkenness for every 1,000 people; in New Zealand there were more than 18, and in 1864 during the gold rushes more than 28. Of 114,146 convictions from 1855 to 1870, 51,110 were for drunkenness.”

    Binge drinking

    “Two factors explain the contrast between observations of drunkenness and the moderate statistics (of total consumption). One is the high level of binge drinking. Many men in frontier jobs – shepherds, boundary watchers or bush fellers – worked miles from a pub. When paid they would come to town and ‘melt’ their cheque by going on a ‘burst’ or a ‘spree’. It could last for days. The men would get sodden drunk, there might be fisticuffs, and they would spill out onto the streets where their behaviour was highly visible. So total consumption was not high, but when drinking did happen it could be socially disruptive.”

    I guess our binge drinking, drunkeness and penchant for violence has been historically embedded and is possibly even genetic. The Law Commission’s had no right to recommend controls over our cultural heritage, eh? 😉

    Good grief!

  38. Paranormal says:

    DK – you’re making an ass of yourself again by misrepresenting what others have said. But hey, fill your boots, it is politics after all . It is too much to expect rational logical discourse with a rabid Green.

  39. Dave Kennedy says:

    “…you’re making an ass of yourself again by misrepresenting what others have said.”

    Paranormal, hardly, what you all actually said is directly above for others to read. I am happy to have my interpretation judged by others.

    You are also perfectly able to challenge me and state what you did mean if it was any different (your personal abuse instead reveals much). 😉

  40. TraceyS says:

    “Tracey thinks that I am a wowser and should be sitting in a caravan getting “smashed with those who really know how to have fun.”

    Dave assumes far too much.

    Worse, he misrepresents me even to the extent of fabricating a statement and enclosing it between quote marks to present as my words.

    But they’re not my words are they, Dave?

    Dirty!

    I stand by my suggestion that you go out and have some fun. You can do that without alcohol…can’t you? I never suggested you should even drink let alone get smashed!

    We should also define what is meant by “smashed”. I mean, how do you know when the neighbours are smashed inside their caravan anyway? Late night, laughter, etc? What?

    How can you tell without going over and saying “Hi”? Again, I’m not suggesting that you drink with them but even if you did, you wouldn’t have to get smashed (or even tiddly). You could have one friendly drink and head home. Just because someone, or everyone else, may be drinking heavily doesn’t mean that you have to – silly!

    On second thoughts, stay home. I’m not sure you’ll be OK out there where people make grown up decisions. Someone might say “have some fun” and you might wonder if that means you should be throwing up in the gutter.

    Much safer to stay home and watch the neighbours from a suitable distance. Yep.

  41. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey it is you who assumes too much, I get on well with my neighbours and your paternalistic advice to an experienced drinker and father of young adults who have active social lives was entertaining.

    “Someone might say “have some fun” and you might wonder if that means you should be throwing up in the gutter.”

    Really? 😉

    Rather than make wild assumptions about my social experience, why not offer your own opinion to what we should do to manage the shocking alcohol problem, or are you comfortable with the status quo too?

  42. TraceyS says:

    I’m glad it was entertaining, Dave, it was meant to be!

    But there is a serious side to what I wrote. Maybe that eluded you?

    Whatever the drinking environment is; pub, man cave, student party…private caravan, the ability to go along and have a good time without succumbing to peer pressure and therefore preserving self-determination over personal outcomes is what saves people (young and older) from the potentially negative effects of alcohol consumption.

    That’s my opinion. Hardly that of a paternalist is it?

    I believe that adults must be responsible for themselves and that there are great risks if “we” assume responsibility for them. Words like “manage” (which you used in the present context) certainly lean in that direction. Needless to say, I find the thought of Government “managing” people’s private lives offensive, even if those same citizens are making mistakes. They must be free to do so or they are not free at all.

    This message isn’t directed at you, personally, of course. That was just a bit of fun. I’m sure you manage your own social life quite fine.

  43. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, that is a very interesting response. You seem to be saying that nothing should be “managed” regarding the use of alcohol and you think “preserving self-determination over personal outcomes” is the best approach.

    So you don’t support the Law Commission’s recommendations?

    Do you think the current regulations are too much?

    Do you think cannabis should be treated the same way?

    I would be interested to know what you think about each of these.

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