Drinking age vote: MPs out of step with NBR subscribers
NBR Business Pulse Results
Last night, 68 MPs voted to keep the alcohol purchasing age at 18, defeating a push to raise the age to 20 (supported by 53; see how each MP voted here).
In voting for the status quo, respresentatives were out of step with NBR readers.
A poll of paid subscribers, open Aug 27-31, found 56% favoured raising the age to 20.
22% favoured a split age, and just 23% favoured keeping it at 18.
"Every MP who voted for keeping the drinking age at 18 should be forced to spend this Saturday night at their local A & E between 11pm and 3am," read a typical comment after NBR's story on the vote result.
On the other side of the argument, a typical keep-it-at-18 comment read "If 18 year olds have the right to get married, drive, smoke and buy cigarettes, go to university/work, have children, pay for adult fares for bus, train, planes and hotels... They should be responsible enough to drink. Don't punish the 95% of 18+ because of some stupid mistakes others make when drinking."
Others in the keep-it-at-18 camp acknowledged a binge drinking culture existed, but said education and parental responsibility were the answers.
Some of those who vote for a split age in the first round of voting, including Prime Minister John Key, argued that supervised drinking in pubs was less likely to cause problems (Mr Key voted for 18 in the second and final vote after the split option placed third and was dropped).
A cynic noted, "The trouble for JK is that 18 year olds can vote and that is solely his reasoning behind policy." Read more comments here.