24 Oct 2012

Alcohol advertising clampdown voted down

10:05 pm on 24 October 2012

MPs have voted down changes which would have forced a radical clampdown on alcohol advertising and sponsorship.

A clause-by-clause debate has begun on the Alcohol Reform Bill, which tightens the rules for liquor outlets' licences and trading hours, among a raft of other changes.

Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway put forward an amendment for a zone excluding alcohol advertising near schools and banning it in cinemas. Another by Labour MP David Clark went further, seeking a blanket ban on television and radio advertising of alcohol.

Both were voted down, as was an amendment by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell which also sought far-reaching advertising restrictions.

The Government says it is already planning to establish an expert forum on alcohol advertising and sponsorship to consider whether further restrictions are needed.

Labour MPs are making conscience or split party votes on each amendment in the bill's committee stage, which began on Tuesday.

Justice Minister Judith Collins expects that could absorb 27 hours of voting time in the House and blames the MPs for what she describes as the bill's slow progress.