I will post some more detail on the Alcohol Reform Bill over coming weeks as there is a lot to be considered. To get the debate started I think it is important that we look at the Law Commission’s report on Alcohol: Curbing the Harm and ask whether this Bill will be effective in doing that – curbing the harm. My view is that it doesn’t go far enough and in a way it’s prioritised the wrong issues. The Minister cited age as the most important measure in the Bill, when that is one of the many diversionary tactics they are using to avoid being held accountable for what is missing from the Bill. And to cap it all off the government has managed to trample on Bill of Rights Act obligations – I predict the offending clauses will not survive the select committee process in their current form. In my press release I said National had squandered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to curb the alcohol-related harm evidenced by the Law Commission’s report into alcohol. Only people power through submissions to the committee and demanding answers from MPs will get that turned around. I spoke in Parliament on the First Reading - unfortunately the tape ends before my final comments which were that we the politicians have lacked courage and that hopefully the Bill will be strengthened by the Select Committee process and that we will have the courage to make a difference. I have attached the notes I took to the House. Let the debate begin!