15 Apr 2009

Pitcairn ends 200 years of prohibition

3:26 pm on 15 April 2009

Pitcairn Island has a new law allowing the sale of alcohol on the island after a 200-year ban.

The new law was signed recently by the island's Wellington-based governor after a majority of islanders voted for the change.

The sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks was prohibited after it reportedly contributed to suicide and murder.

The director of the Pitcairn Island study centre in California, Herbert Ford, says everyone over the age of 18 will be allowed to drink.

"There're quite a few prohibitions however, those who are part of the boat crews that go out to meet ships will be prohibited from drinking for 12 hours before they will go out to meet an announced ship. There are a number of other prohibitions and places that you cannot drink, the public roads, the school, the medical centre."

Herbert Ford says alcoholic drinks will be mainly imported from New Zealand and will be sold in shops, a cafe, as well as homestays carrying a licence.